Dr. Walter Numas Samaniego joined the Florida Natural Products Laboratory of the Walker Cancer Research Institute, Inc. in 1999. He came to the WCRI, Inc. from Northeastern University, where he was involved in a joint effort funded and co-directed by Harvard Medical School for the production of a novel prodrug against prostate cancer. Previously, Dr. Samaniego worked for Prof. Grant McGimpsey, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in the preparation of materials for photonic switches. He worked also worked in the private sector during his first chemistry years in Argentina, where he was born.
In September 2001 he left his position with WCRI, but still keeps a professional relation with the Institute, as a Consultant.
Dr. Samaniego's main area of research is Synthetic Organic / Medicinal Chemistry. This discipline can be applied to different and varied discovery activities. Here, at the Walker Cancer Research Institute, his knowledge was applied to the Medicinal Chemistry field, with efforts centered on Cancer Research. He is also a computer person, and used Computational Chemistry as a tool to improve and increase productivity in the discovery phase of drug development.
For example, he was interested in a family of natural products known as acetogenins. These compounds are not very abundant in Nature (a la Taxol), and its structure is fairly complex. Some attempts have been made to reproduce these molecules in the lab, and although some researches have succeeded, the methods employed are too costly for industrial implementation. With the help of computers, a series of these natural occurring compounds were studied, and from the results, a new family of "analogs" was being developed. The goal was to produce a new drug with an equal or better activity (potency against cancer) than the original compound, that would cheaper and simpler to produce in the lab.
Dr. Samaniego was also involved in the development of a delivery
system for 5-fluorouracyl (5-FU), a known anticancer agent. 5-FU
is an effective drug to combat cancer, but as with many other
compounds, a targeted delivery to the cancerous cells would increase
its activity, and diminish the unwanted secondary effects of
October 2001 - Present: Consultant, Synthetic / Medicinal Chemist, Walker Cancer Research Institute, Inc., Tallahassee, FL.
July 1999 - September 2001: Synthetic Medicinal Chemist, Walker Cancer Research Institute, Inc., Tallahassee, FL.
April 1999 - June 1999: Visiting Research Scientist, Northeastern University - Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
April 1997 - March 1999: Visiting Scientist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.
July 1992 - March 1997: Graduate Research Assistant / Teaching Assistant in Organic Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.
March 1989 - June 1992: Chemistry Instructor, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
March 1987 - June 1988: R&D Chemist, Alejandro Llauró e Hijos, Avellaneda, Pcia. de Bs. As., Argentina. (Household cleaners and personal care products).
March 1986 - March 1989: Laboratory Assistant in Organic Chemistry, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina (part time position, covered concurrently to R&D position in industry after graduation).
March 1985 - March 1986: High School Teacher (Math and Chemistry).
July 1984 - December 1984: Laboratory Assistant in Inorganic
Chemistry, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, 1997. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.
Dissertation Title: "Discorhabdin C 3-aza Analogs and Other Potential Anticancer and Anti-HIV Agents: Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Evaluation".
Minors in: Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry.
Non-thesis Masters Degree (Licenciado), Organic Chemistry, 1988. Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Additional Training: January 1994: Medicinal Chemistry - Georgia
Institute of Technology.
Intramolecular Singlet-Singlet and Triplet-Triplet Energy Transfer in Adamantyl-Linked Trichromophores, Tan, Z., Kote, R., Weininger, S., McGimpsey, W. G., Samaniego, W. N., J. Phys. Chem. A, 1999, 103 (38), 7612-7620.
Singlet-Singlet and Triplet-Triplet Energy Transfer in Bichromophoric Peptides, McGimpsey, W. G., Chen, L., Samaniego, W. N., J. Phys. Chem. A, 1999, 103 (31), 6082-6090.
Singlet-Singlet, Triplet-Triplet and Optically Controlled Energy Transfer in Trichromophores. Preliminary Models for a Molecular-Scale Shift Register, McGimpsey, W. G., Samaniego, W. N., Chen, L. and Wang, F., J. Phys. Chem. A, 1998, 102(45), 8679-8689.
Ritter Reactions on Terpenoids. III. Stereospecific Preparation of Bicyclic [3.3.1] Substituted Piperidines, Samaniego, W. N., Baldessari, A., Ponce, A., Rodriguez, J. B., Gros, E. G., Caram, J. A., and Marschoff, C. M., Tetrahedron Letters, 1994, 35(38), 6967-6070.
Intramolecular Energy Transfer in b-Peptides, Samaniego, W. N.; McGimpsey, W. G.; Lie, L. (in preparation).
Synthesis of Discorhabdin C 3-aza analogs, Samaniego, W. N.,
Zalkow, L. H., (in preparation).
August 1998. Singlet-Singlet, Triplet-Triplet and Optically Controlled Energy Transfer in Trichromophores, 216th ACS National Meeting, Boston, MA.
July 1998. Singlet-Singlet, Triplet-Triplet and Optically Controlled Energy Transfer in Trichromophores, IUPAC Photochemistry Conference, Barcelona, Spain.
March 1996. Synthesis of Analogs of Discorhabdin C. II. 211th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
October 1994. Synthesis of Analogs of Discorhabdin C. 46th ACS Southeast Regional Meeting, Birmingham, AL.
November 1991. Ritter Reactions on Terpenoids. C-N Bond Reactivity. VIII Simposio Nacional de Química Orgánica, Huerta Grande, Córdoba, Argentina.
November 1990. Ritter Reactions on Terpenoids. Stereospecific Synthesis of Aza-bicycles. XIX Latin-American Chemistry Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina.