Roy R Hantgan, Ph.D.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in our society, and the major culprit is a blood clot formed by the unwarranted activation of the clotting cascade. While cardiologists can often restore normal blood flow through by widening the blocked artery and inserting a stent to keep it open, this approach require powerful anti-platelet drugs that can themselves cause hemorrhagic or thrombotic problems. Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding, at the molecular level, how a class of these drugs --- integrin antagonists --- recognize their target receptor and how that interaction actually alters its structure and function. Our biophysical approach to translational research is designed to hasten the development of a new generation of safer and more effective integrin-targeted therapies. As Director of the Macromolecular Interactions Core Laboratory, I also strive to make an array of biotechnologies “user-friendly” to my colleagues here at the medical school, at Wake Forest University, and to the wider national and international research community.