Associate Professor of Chemistry
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Doug has published 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is listed as an inventor on eight U.S. patents and patent applications.
Frantz obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Texas A&M University in 1998. He did a post-doctoral fellowship in Zürich, Switzerland, where he discovered and developed new chemistry important for the synthesis of chiral drugs. Frantz moved back to the United States to join the department of process research at Merck & Co., Inc. where he worked on the development of practical and efficient syntheses to various drug candidates.
Frantz joined the faculty in the department of biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 2005 as a research assistant professor and director of the Synthetic Chemistry Core Facility.
Frantz has received several awards including a Young Investigator Award from the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund and UTSA’s President’s Distinguished Research Award for Tenure-Track Faculty. He holds an adjunct professor position in the department of biochemistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is a member of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, and co-founded the Center for Innovative Drug Discovery.
Your stem cells: Friend or foe?
Stem cells continue to gain momentum to treat and in some cases cure devastating human diseases. In contrast, there is the mounting evidence that stem cells are in fact at the literal “root” of some diseases. This duality of hero versus villain is no more evident when comparing the two most devastating human diseases, heart disease and cancer.
With heart disease, stem cells offer the promise of regenerating damage heart muscle after heart attack through repair mechanisms to either reduce or reverse heart failure. Conversely, there is mounting evidence of the existence of cancer stem cells that may not only be responsible for tumor growth but may also persist long after treatment to cause relapse and metastasis. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of chemistry and biology of stem cells has hampered efforts to develop therapies that tap into their regenerative capacity (as in heart disease) or control their proliferation (as in cancer). However, the tide is starting to change. Researchers across the globe are using chemical compounds as probes to unravel the secrets of stem cells. This talk will highlight the potential for new drugs to control our stem cells as a new paradigm in regenerative medicine and cancer chemotherapy.
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