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Photo of Minying Cai(mcai)

Minying Cai

Research Professor,
Member of the Graduate Faculty,
Research Professor, BIO5 Institute,

Chemistry & Biochemistry - Sci
mcai@arizona.edu
520/621-8617
UAVitae logoOrcid logo
Grant: $1.3M
Dr. Minying Cai is currently a research professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona. She has been working in the Chemistry & Biochemistry department for more than 16 years and has more than 100 publications in the area of novel drug discovery for obesity, diabetes, cancer and pain. Dr. Cai received the Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in 2004. Before that, she had been working in Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica; Shanghai Research Center of Biotechnology in Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Cai has been working on peptide based drug discovery for more than 23 years, starting with discovery of developing anti-microbial peptide and insulin related peptide drug. Sixteen years ago, she started working on melanotropin and opioid related drug discovery. Dr. Cai's research in peptides involves highly multidisciplinary areas including chemistry and biochemistry; molecular pharmacology, molecular imaging, and cancer research, with expertise in molecular pharmacology, synthetic, organic and peptide methodology, chemical and biophysical analysis and evaluation, and in vitro and in vivo expression. Dr. Cai is currently working on several projects at the interface of chemistry, pharmacology and biology within the areas of: 1. Structure based drug design and synthesis of GPCR ligands, including developing selective hMCRs ligand; 2. Developing novel biophysics tools for molecular imaging; novel biomarker for high-throughput screening system. 3. Exploiting novel scaffold via computational chemistry for small molecule therapeutics for energy balance and cancer study; 4. Creating a nanostructured integrated platform for biodetection and imaging-guided therapy. Keywords: Drug Discovery, Melanoma Prevention, neurodegenerative diseases, Obesity and Diabetes, Melanocortin System
Minying Cai experts in medicinal chemistry, plasmonics, nanophotonics, peptidomimetics, organic synthesis, neuroscience, aging, neuroimaging
Recent Grants
Logo of Bioassay of melanocortin compounds funding agency
2019 $50.0K
Bioassay of melanocortin compounds
Logo of Designing Novel Melanotropins for New Applications for the Melanocortin System funding agency
2014 $1.2M
Designing Novel Melanotropins for New Applications for the Melanocortin System
Logo of Imaging Agents for the Detection of Cancer funding agency
2012 $33.3K
Imaging Agents for the Detection of Cancer
Technologies / Patents
Logo of Novel Modulators of Melanocortin Receptors for the Treatment of Depresion and Anxiety
2023Novel Modulators of Melanocortin Receptors for the Treatment of Depresion and Anxiety 
Logo of Novel Modulators Of Melanocortin Receptors
2021Novel Modulators Of Melanocortin Receptors 
Logo of Compositions and Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
2020Compositions and Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety 
Logo of Compositions and Methods for Treating Central Nervous System (Cns) Disorders And Mood Disorders
2020Compositions and Methods for Treating Central Nervous System (Cns) Disorders And Mood Disorders 
Logo of Enhanced Melanoma Cancer Prevention By Novel Melanotropins
2019Enhanced Melanoma Cancer Prevention By Novel Melanotropins 
Logo of Melanotropin Ligands For Skin Care
2017Melanotropin Ligands For Skin Care 
Logo of Methods for the Treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders and Mood Disorders
2017Methods for the Treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders and Mood Disorders 
Logo of Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
2017Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety 
Logo of Melanotropin Ligands for Skin Care
2016Melanotropin Ligands for Skin Care 
Logo of Novel Modulators of Melanocortin Receptors
1899Novel Modulators of Melanocortin Receptors 
Logo of Enhanced Melanoma Cancer Prevention by Novel Melanotropins
1899Enhanced Melanoma Cancer Prevention by Novel Melanotropins 
Logo of Compositions and Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
1899Compositions and Methods for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety 
Logo of Compositions and Methods for Treating Central Nervous System (Cns) Disorders And Mood Disorders
1899Compositions and Methods for Treating Central Nervous System (Cns) Disorders And Mood Disorders 
News
2020UArizona Reports Record Number of Startups for Fiscal Year 2020 
2018Startup Licenses Invention to Enhance Skin Cancer Prevention 
2016TLA Sets Performance Records in 3rd Full Year  
2016Startup Licenses UA Technology Targeting Depression 
2016Program Preps UA Inventions for Market 
2005UA Researchers Study Use of Peptide Hormones in Treating Disease 
Publications
2021Aged Brains Express Less Melanocortin Receptors, Which Correlates with Age-Related Decline of Cognitive Functions 
2019Development of <i>N</i>-Acetylated Dipalmitoyl-<i>S</i>-Glyceryl Cysteine Analogs as Efficient TLR2/TLR6 Agonists 
2013Design of peptide and peptidomimetic ligands with novel pharmacological activity profiles 
2009Plasmon-waveguide resonance studies of ligand binding to integral proteins in membrane fragments derived from bacterial and mammalian cells 
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