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Research Interests

The research in Professor Silverman’s group can be summarized as investigations of the molecular mechanisms of action, rational design, and syntheses of potential medicinal agents. The primary focus is basic research into central nervous system disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, addiction, and epilepsy. Other therapeutic areas include cancer (melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma), lysosomal storage diseases, such as Gaucher’s disease, and bacterial infection. Numerous drugs are known to function as specific inhibitors of particular enzymes. For some enzyme targets, where potent reversible inhibitors are desired, computer modeling based on X-ray crystal structures initiates the research (high-throughput screening also may be used). For enzyme targets where inactivators are desired and when little is known about the enzyme’s molecular mechanism of action, chemical model studies are designed to determine reasonable nonenzymatic pathways applicable to the enzyme. For those enzymes, mechanism-based inactivators are designed and synthesized and inactivation mechanisms investigated. The enzymes are isolated from either mammalian tissue or from overexpressed cells containing recombinant enzymes. Collaborations are developed in X-ray crystallography and preclinical studies.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Organic Chemistry, PhD, Harvard University

… → 1974

Chemistry, BS, Pennsylvania State University

… → 1968

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