My background and research interests are in medicinal chemistry and I am based in Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), where I am the Head of Chemistry.
New Therapeutic Agents
My main research interests are in the design of potential new drug leads and potential therapeutic agents. In the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), our focus is on neglected diseases and novel drug targets. We are tackling a number of neglected diseases such as the kinetoplastids, malaria, tuberculosis and animal trypanosomiasis. Our novel targets programme looks at new areas of biology that have not been tackled before from a drug discovery perspective, with the aim of de-risking them for further development. We have an integrated approach to drug discovery, including medicinal chemistry, hit discovery and cell biology, DMPK, computational chemistry and structural biology. We have developed a number of series from hits to full lead optimization programmes.
New Approaches to Drug Discovery
There is a very high rate of attrition within the drug discovery process, so I am interested in new approaches to drug discovery. Some examples of this work are:
· Validation of new drug targets.
· New computational approaches to drug discovery.
· Developing new fragments for fragment-based drug discovery.
· Selective delivery of compounds to organisms.
Mode of Action Studies
I am interested in understanding how compounds exert their pharmacological action. This is important, particularly for compounds derived from phenotypic screens. Knowing the target(s) of compounds is important in establishing and validating new biology, as well as adding to the drug discovery process. I am interested in applying chemistry to solve these problems, through techniques such as chemical proteomics.