Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Sarah Z. Tasker, PhD

Dr. Tasker is synthesizing a new set of small molecules based on natural products, designed to have structural features to allow them to cross the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier protects the brain, but it also prevents most chemotherapeutic agents from reaching tumor cells in brain cancers, meaning prognoses for cancers such as glioblastoma multiforme and brain metastases are often poor. She will test these new compounds for anticancer activity, and will study whether active compounds cross the blood-brain barrier. The goal of these studies is to discover new anticancer small molecules and to better understand how these molecules penetrate the blood-brain barrier.  

Project title: "Synthesis and evaluation of a collection of complex molecules biased for penetration of the blood-brain barrier"
Institution: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Paul Hergenrother, PhD
Cancer Type: Brain, All Cancers
Research Area: Drug Discovery