AI for drug design project

This project will develop a data and AI-driven drug design platform/pipeline for precise and effective treatment of cancers and complex diseases by leveraging multidisciplinary expertise in AI, data science, and human health therapeutics. BC Cancer will lead wet-lab validation and experimental analysis of designed drug candidates for inhibiting carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) activity and impacting tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Brock University will provide expertise in testing of AI methods and molecule parameterization. The NRC will provide expertise in drug design using machine learning and signal processing.

Project team

Dr. Shoukat Dedhar, BC Cancer Research Centre

Dr. Shoukat Dedhar is a distinguished scientist at BC Cancer Research Centre and a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia. Dr. Dedhar has pioneered a large body of work in cell-extracellular matrix interactions. His current research is focussed on models of cancer metastasis and the discovery and testing of novel drugs for cancer therapy.

Find out more about Dr. Dedhar.

Dr. Yifeng Li

Dr. Yifeng Li is with the Department of Computer Science at Brock University. Dr. Li is well known for novel and useful AI research applied to biological problems such as gene regulation and precision medicine. Areas of expertise include statistical modelling, machine learning and bioinformatics.

Find out more about Dr. Li.

Dr. Alain Tchagang

Dr. Alain Tchagang is a research officer with the National Research Council. He has a wealth of research experience combining state-of-the-art methods in statistical signal processing and machine learning to tackle novel and challenging problems in life science, physics and engineering.

Find out more about Dr. Tchagang and his other projects.

Highly qualified personnel (HQP) biographies

Dr. Shawn Chafe

Dr. Shawn Chafe is a research associate in Dr. Dedhar's laboratory at the BC Cancer Research Centre. He will be a lead HQP on the wet-lab validation and experimental analysis of drug candidates for inhibiting CAIX activity aspect of the AI for drug design project. Dr. Chafe has over 6 years of experience in the field of tumour hypoxia, pH regulation, carbonic anhydrases and tumour immunology.

Cameron Andress

Cameron Andress is a computer science graduate student at Brock University under the supervision of Dr. Li. His research focusses on molecule and protein structural modelling and interactions.

Hayley Bennett

Hayley Bennett is a graduate student co-supervised by Dr. Yan and Dr. Li in the biotechnology program at Brock University.

Sheriff Abouchekeir

Sheriff Abouchekeir is an undergraduate student researcher supervised by Dr. Li at Brock University in developing deep generative models for drug design and optimization.