The Portal was founded as an independent organization in February of 2016. Nearly a year and a half later, I offer some reflections on the initiative: I present the rationale for why we insist on data transparency, why we did not adopt strict probe validation criteria, and why I believe the Portal can help improve the quality of the scientific literature even if our experts (Scientific Advisory Board, SAB) never agree on what makes a compound a chemical probe.
July 25, 2017
July 9, 2017
Today, an important Perspective was published in Cancer Cell (Choose and use your chemical probe wisely to explore cancer biology). The Perspective highlights both the importance of chemical probes in biomedical research and the unfortunate pollution of scientific literature that occurs when these compounds are misused.
June 20, 2017
How a $150 mistake can cost the scientific community billions
April 10, 2017
Our crisis in research reproducibility is here to stay, unless we get serious about changing a culture that promotes sloppy research. While much that has been written about the reproducibility crisis emphasizes problems with contaminated cells lines, low quality antibodies and insufficiently powered studies using animal models, any good chemical biologist can identify hundreds if not thousands of studies with small molecules that are also problematic.
April 7, 2017
Although GPCRs are recognized as the most successful class of druggable targets in the human genome, marketed drugs modulate only about 80 proteins from this very large family. In recognition of their prominence in drug discovery efforts, we have prioritized GPCRs for our next strategic growth phase. We plan to identify chemical probes and best-available compounds for as many of these receptors as we can. We will also highlight commonly used but nonselective compounds (historic compounds) that researchers mistakenly apply as probes to study GPCRs.
March 17, 2017
The Shamrock, a three-leaf clover, is the traditional symbol for the Irish and often appears in and around St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Some rare clovers have four leaves, and they are considered lucky. Like four-leaf clovers, quality chemical probes are a rarity, and we are dedicated to finding these ‘lucky’ compounds on behalf of our users. Enjoy the parades and other festivities this weekend; if you are a fan of the NCAA, enjoy the madness that March brings; and check in with us to find your chemical probes before you start your next experiment.
February 24, 2017
We were awed this week when scientists reported the discovery of seven earth-like planets just 39 light-years away. This discovery highlights just how many exciting things remain for us to discover and explore. While discoveries of this magnitude are rare and should be celebrated, we believe it’s also important to celebrate the incremental achievements that make such awesome discoveries possible.
February 17, 2017
The Chemical Probes Portal is excited to announce a growth campaign focusing on the Bromodomain and BCL2 family proteins. These classes of proteins are known to contain important drug targets, particularly for cancer, and have seen a lot of chemical probe activity.
Bromodomains are epigenetic proteins that ‘read’ information conveyed through chromatin modifications by binding to acetylated histones. Through the recruitment of protein partners, these proteins impact gene expression.
February 10, 2017