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TACC Powers Research Towards Opioids without Side Effects

Over at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, Paromita Pain writes that researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine are using TACC supercomputers to better understand membrane proteins, which play a major role in determining whether medications are efficient and whether they have side effects.

According to Dr. Marta Filizola, understanding how opioid receptors work is an important aspect of research at the lab. Her team creates simulations that reveal the way proteins (which are never static) interact with drug molecules and other proteins. These animations help identify the factors that contribute to a molecular-level understanding of the mechanism of action of drugs at individual or oligomeric receptors. This information is used to create more efficient medications or to stop unpleasant side effects.

Side effects are an important issue,” Filizola says. “We can develop the best pain curing medication ever, but if it causes an addiction then how good is it really?”

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