Jason Rohde joined NCATS in 2012, where he now serves as a research scientist in medicinal chemistry. This interdisciplinary group of NCATS scientists manages a diverse target portfolio (e.g., oncology, rare metabolic diseases) and works to optimize small molecules identified in high-throughput screening campaigns aimed at interrogating promising new biological targets.
Rohde received a Ph.D. in chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute, where he worked with Erik Sorensen, Ph.D., in natural product total synthesis (inspired by biosynthetic hypotheses). As a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Larry Overman, Ph.D., at the University of California, Irvine, Rohde and his colleagues contributed to the total syntheses of actinophyllic acid and the nankakurines.
Rohde enjoys working on a diversity of new biological targets that may have the potential to address unmet medical needs. His research interests include medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, rare and neglected diseases research, synthetic methodology, and natural products research. Since joining NCATS, Rohde has developed small molecule modulators and tools for:
- Mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (mIDH1)
- Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2)
- Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH)
- ATPase family AAA domain-containing protein 5 (ATAD5)
Rohde recently initiated a natural product screening effort called Canvass. This pilot study aims to screen natural products, which have proven over the years to be a rich source of small molecule drugs. Using compounds from academic researchers throughout the country and various whole-cell, biological assays designed to canvass much of biology, the program’s overall goal is to rejuvenate natural product research.