The University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Sergey N. Savinov

Extension Associate Professor

High-Throughput Screening (HTS) is a pharmaceutical industry standard for the discovery of drugs with new or improved properties that is now increasingly being implemented in academic institutions as well. Miniaturization of bioassays, availability of combinatorial libraries of structurally diverse compounds, and developments in sensitive and rapid detection instrumentation permit thousands of compounds to be assayed for a desired function in vitro, in cellulo and even in vivo. When integrated with modeling and/or cheminformatics-based virtual pre-screens, the number of compounds that needs to be evaluated could be reduced significantly by in silico methods to make screening a reasonable and, yet, powerful option for chemical probe/drug discovery in an academic setting, where resources could be limited.

Current Research
As a liaison between the Small Molecule Screening Facility at UMMS and the UMass Amherst campus, I work to identify venues for complementary and mutually beneficial collaborations and assist in their implementation. I also curate a 60,000-compound collection that can be formatted for both drug discovery and drug development needs of UMass researchers. In addition, I offer integrated computational services for the purpose of validation, characterization and further elaboration of discovered chemotherapeutics. Specifically, I assist researchers across UMass system with thorough analyses of HTS results and various associated computational needs, including cheminformatic, modeling, docking, quantum mechanical and dynamic simulation methods.

In the areas where multidrug resistance is a concern, multicomponent synergistic combinations of agents identified from crude natural extracts become a more desirable starting point for discovery. As a part of the UMass Plant Cell Culture Library (PCCL) consortium, I am directing research projects that aim to harness the potential of the world's largest and most diverse collection of de-differentiated cell lines drives from 2280 distinct plant species that account for 69% of terrestrial plant orders (0.7% of all species). The extracts provided by these living cells are currently being interfaced with a variety of anti-pathogen screens to discover phytochemicals or their combinations with therapeutically useful properties in a high-throughput fashion.

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Academic Background

  • PhD Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 2000
  • BS Pittsburg State University, 1995
Escoffier J, Lee HC, Yassine S, Zouari R, Martinez G, Karaouzène T, Coutton C, Kherraf ZE, Halouani L, Triki C, Nef S, Thierry-Mieg N, Savinov SN, Fissore R, Ray PF, Arnoult C. Homozygous mutation of PLCZ1 leads to defective human oocyte activation and infertility that is not rescued by the WW-binding protein PAWP. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Dec 31. pii: ddv617. [Epub ahead of print]
Chen Y., Savinov S.N., Mielech A.M., Cao T., Baker S. C., Mesecar A.D. X-ray structural and functional studies of three tandemly-linked domains of nsp3 from murine hepatitis virus reveal conserved functions. J Biol Chem. 2015, 290, 25293-306.
Conley J.M., Meyer J.M., Nuss A.B., Doyle T.B., Savinov S.N., Hill C.A., Watts V.J. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of AaDOP2 receptor antagonists reveals antidepressants and antipsychotics as novel lead molecules for yellow-fever mosquito control. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2014; 252; 53–60.
Eissler, C.L., Mazón G., Powers B.L., Savinov S.N., Symington L.C., Hall M.C. The cdk/cdc14 module controls activation of the yen1 holliday junction resolvase to promote genome stability. Mol Cell. 2014, 54, 80–93.
Eggler, A.L. & Savinov S.N. Chemical and Biological Mechanisms of Phytochemical Activation of Nrf2 and Importance in Disease Prevention. Rec Adv Phytochem 2013, 43, 121–155
Verhoeven K.D., Altstadt O.C., Savinov S.N.* Intracellular Detection and Evolution of Site-Specific Proteases Using a Genetic Selection System. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2012, 166, 1340–1354
Contact Info

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
N565 Life Science Laboratories
University of Massachusetts
240 Thatcher Way
Amherst, MA 01003