June 27, 2016

Since high-throughput chemical screens have moved into the mainstream of science, medicinal chemists have noted that certain compounds or compound classes repeatedly arise as hits in these assays. Unfortunately, these hits arise repeatedly not because they are versatile and exciting chemical scaffolds but because they are promiscuous entities, which react non-specifically with biomolecules or interfere with assay components rather than directly and specifically affecting the protein target of interest.

June 21, 2016

By monitoring the interaction between a chemical probe and its protein target in a model system, a researcher gains confidence that the resulting phenotypic changes can be attributed to the probe’s activity against that protein. Assays that allow a researcher to detect and ideally to quantify the protein-chemical probe binding interaction are referred to as target-engagement assays and are considered an essential part of the evidence required to properly validate a probe for use in a biological system.

June 17, 2016

The Portal will employ an expert peer-review process to vet and rate chemical probes. Key to this process is the Portal’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprising experts in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and chemical biology representing a global community and multiple professional environments (e.g., pharma, biotech, clinical centers or academia).

June 14, 2016

On Jun 30, 2016, we are relaunching The Chemical Probes Portal. The new site will feature a new user interface, new navigation, a robust database with in cell and/or in vivo validation data for the ~100 existing probes on the portal, as well as expert recommendations for selecting and applying these probes according to best practices.

June 13, 2016

The Chemical Probes Portal proudly announces its founding Board of Directors: Mark Bunnage (Pfizer), Aled Edwards (SGC), Yung Lie (Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Foundation), Herbert Waldmann (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology), Tim Willson (SGC UNC), and Paul Workman (ICR).

June 10, 2016

The Chemical Probes Portal is now accepting applications for experts to join our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Are you an expert in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, or chemical biology? Are you passionate about chemical probes, how they are validated, and how they are applied in research? If so, we want to hear from you!

June 8, 2016

What is a chemical probe?  A chemical probe is simply a reagent—a selective small-molecule modulator of a protein’s function—that allows the user to ask mechanistic and phenotypic questions about its molecular target in cell-based or animal studies. Importantly, a chemical probe is not a key that interacts with only one lock (the protein target) in a cell no matter what concentration it is applied. It is a molecule that is governed by the same rules of chemistry as any other; therefore, experiments using chemical probes must be designed and interpreted with care.