Biography

ResearcherID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/F-6715-2011

PhD Positions

BBSRC Funded PhD Position: How Proteins Bind Unusual DNA Structures

Click here for other current PhD opportunities in PHA. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdoctoral Positions

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations please email me to discuss projects and potential sources of funding.

Biography

Zoё graduated with a MChem (Distinction) in Chemistry with Pharmaceutical and Forensic Science from the University of Bradford in 2005. She then moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge to continue her studies towards a PhD in Chemical Biology under the supervision of Shankar Balasubramanian. Her thesis was based on the design, properties and function of small molecule ligands which interact with G-quadruplex DNA. Whilst completing her PhD she was heavily involved with teaching and demonstrating undergraduate students and also STIMULUS, where she helped run after-school Science classes. In 2008 she was awarded the Corporate Associates Prize for Practical Class Demonstration in recognition of "outstanding qualities in the teaching of practical chemistry". After completing her PhD in 2009 she gained further teaching experience within the secondary education sector before taking up a position as Senior Demonstrator in Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at UEA. After gaining some further experience in industry at HFL Sport Science she returned to the School in late 2010 as a junior Lecturer in Chemical Biology. She was promoted to Lecturer in 2014 and Senior Lecturer in 2017. Zoё is currently on the committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry Nucleic Acids Group and the Chemical Biology and Bio-organic interest group, part of the Royal Society of Chemistry degree accreditation panel, an associate of the Faculty of 1000 and a STEM ambassador.

Zoё’s research is focussed at the interface between chemistry and biology and she is particularly interested in drug-nucleic acid interactions and studying alternative DNA structures. She uses many different experimental approaches including organic synthesis, biophysics and molecular biology. Her research has two general themes: switching DNA conformation for uses in nanotechnology and targeting DNA/RNA with small molecule ligands for applications in biology. The work has applications in nanotechnology, chemical biology and development of novel therapeutics for genetic diseases such as cancer, diabetes or fragile X syndrome.

Selected publications:

Identification of multiple genomic DNA sequences which form i-motif structures at neutral pH.

E. P. Wright, J. L. Huppert and Z. A. E. Waller. 
Nucleic Acids Res. 2017, 45, 2951. (Explained on YouTube).

Mitoxantrone and analogues bind and stabilise i-motif forming DNA sequences.

E. P. Wright, H. A. Day, A. M. Ibrahim, J. Kumar, L. J. E. Boswell, C. Huguin, C. E. M. Stevenson, K. Pors and Z. A. E. Waller. 
Sci. Reports., 2016, 6, 39456. (Explained on YouTube).

Control of bacterial nitrate assimilation by stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.
Z. A. E. Waller, B. J. Pinchbeck, B. Seewoodharry Buguth, T. G. Meadows, D. J. Richardson and A. J. Gates.
Chem. Commun, 2016, 52, 13511. (Explained on YouTube).

Reversible DNA i-motif to hairpin switching induced by copper (II) cations.
H. A. Day, E. P. Wright, C. J. MacDonald, A. J. Gates and Z. A. E. Waller
Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 14099. (Explained on YouTube).

i-Motif DNA: Structure, stability and targeting with ligands.
H. A. Day, P. Pavlos and Z. A. E. Waller
Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2014, 22, 4407.

 

 

All Publications

Wright, E. P., Lamparska, K., Smith, S. S., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2017)

Substitution of Cytosine with Guanylurea Decreases the Stability of i-Motif DNA,

in Biochemistry

56

(36)

pp. 4879-4883

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Sheng, Q., Neaverson, J. C., Mahmoud, T., Stevenson, C. E. M., Matthews, S. E., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2017)

Identification of new DNA i-motif binding ligands through a fluorescent intercalator displacement assay,

in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry

15

(27)

pp. 5669-5673

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bertrand, B., Fernandez-Cestau, J., Angulo, J., Cominetti, M. M., Waller, Z. A., Searcey, M., O'Connell, M. A., Bochmann, M.

(2017)

Cytotoxicity of Pyrazine-Based Cyclometalated (C^Npz^C)Au(III) Carbene Complexes: Impact of the Nature of the Ancillary Ligand on the Biological Properties,

in Inorganic Chemistry

56

(10)

pp. 5728–5740

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Wright, E. P., Huppert, J. L., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2017)

Identification of multiple genomic DNA sequences which form i-motif structures at neutral pH,

in Nucleic Acids Research

2017

(1)

article no. gkx090

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Wright, E. P., Day, H. A., Ibrahim, A. M., Kumar, J., Boswell, L. J. E., Huguin, C., Stevenson, C. E. M., Pors, K., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2016)

Mitoxantrone and analogues bind and stabilize i-motif forming DNA sequences,

in Scientific Reports

6

article no. 39456

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Waller, Z. A. E., Pinchbeck, B. J., Buguth, B. S., Meadows, T. G., Richardson, D. J., Gates, A. J.

(2016)

Control of bacterial nitrate assimilation by stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA,

in Chemical Communications

52

(92)

pp. 13511-13514

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Day, H. A., Wright, E. P., MacDonald, C. J., Gates, A. J., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2015)

Reversible DNA i-motif to hairpin switching induced by copper(II) cations,

in Chemical Communications

51

(74)

pp. 14099-14102

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Day, H. A., Pavlou, P., Waller, Z. A. E.

(2014)

i-Motif DNA: Structure, stability and targeting with ligands,

in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry

22

(16)

pp. 4407–4418

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Waller, Z. A. E., Howell, L. A., Macdonald, C. J., O'Connell, M. A., Searcey, M.

(2014)

Identification and characterisation of a G-quadruplex forming sequence in the promoter region of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2),

in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

447

(1)

pp. 128-32

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Bowater, R., Waller, Z.

(2014)

DNA Structure,

Full Text

(Other contribution)

(Published)


Day, H. A., Huguin, C., Waller, Z.

(2013)

Silver cations fold i-motif at neutral pH,

in Chemical Communications

49

(70)

pp. 7696

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Dash, J., Waller, Z., Pantoş, G. D., Balasubramanian, S.

(2011)

Synthesis and Binding Studies of Novel Diethynyl-Pyridine Amides with Genomic Promoter DNA G-Quadruplexes,

in Chemistry - A European Journal

17

(16)

pp. 4571–4581

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


McLuckie, K. I. E., Waller, Z., Sanders, D. A., Alves, D., Rodriguez, R., Dash, J., McKenzie, G. J., Venkitaraman, A. R., Balasubramanian, S.

(2011)

G-Quadruplex-Binding Benzo[a]phenoxazines Down-Regulate c-KIT Expression in Human Gastric Carcinoma Cells,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

133

(8)

pp. 2658-2663

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Howell, L., Waller, Z., Bowater, R., O'Connell, M., Searcey, M.

(2011)

A small molecule that induces assembly of a four way DNA junction at low temperature,

in Chemical Communications

47

(29)

pp. 8262-8264

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Waller, Z., Sewitz, S. A., Hsu, S. D., Balasubramanian, S.

(2009)

A Small Molecule That Disrupts G-Quadruplex DNA Structure and Enhances Gene Expression,

in Journal of the American Chemical Society

131

(35)

pp. 12628-12633

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Waller, Z., Shirude, P. S., Rodriguez, R., Balasubramanian, S.

(2008)

Triarylpyridines: a versatile small molecule scaffold for G-quadruplex recognition,

in Chemical Communications

(12)

pp. 1467-1469

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Waller, Z., BOWEN, R., EDWARDS, H.

(2006)

Raman spectroscopic and structural investigation of 1,4-diphenylbuta-1,3-diene and selected monomethyl and dimethyl substituted homologues,

in Analytica Chimica Acta

580

(1)

pp. 47-54

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Key Research Interests

My group is interested in the different types of structure DNA can form and studying how this can be influenced by conditions, ligands or drugs. Our work spans both chemistry and biology but also has applications in nanotechnology. We are particularly interested in finding and developing molecules which interact with i-motif DNA, an alternative structure of DNA formed in sequences which are rich in the base cytosine. We are also interested in other alternative structures in DNA and RNA such as G-quadruplexes, hairpins and 3 or 4-way junctions and probing their potential functions in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic biology.

 

Research Group Membership

Current Group

  • Dr Elise Wright (BBSRC funded PDRA)
  • Qiran Sheng (PhD student) joint with Dr Susan Matthews
  • Mahmoud Abdelhamid (Eastern-Arc PhD student) joint with Dr Andrew Gates (BIO)
  • Philip Spence (BBSRC DTP PhD student) joint with Dr John Fielden (CHE)

Past Group Members

  • Rouven Becker (ERASMUS student)
  • Jessica Louzame (Visiting Researcher)
  • Matthew Bennett (Diabetes UK research associate)
  • Hamza Patel (Royal Society of Chemistry student)
  • Ramona Mostashiri (ERASMUS student)
  • Henry Day (Novartis PhD student)
  • Isabela Zakimi Innocentini (Science Without Borders student)
  • Tasnim Mahmoud (Visiting researcher)
  • Lavinia Dunsmore (Royal Society of Chemistry student)
  • Viji Moorthie (Visiting researcher)
  • Philip Gillespie (Wellcome Trust vacation student)
  • Bhovina Buguth (Big C vacation student)
  • Muhannad Daas (Novartis summer student)
  • Shahid Chowdhury (Big C vacation student)
  • Camille Huguin (Visiting researcher, National Institute of Applied Sciences of Rouen)
  • Phuong Nguyen (Novartis summer student) joint with Dr Susan Matthews
  • Rebecca Arnold (Wellcome Trust vacation student)
  • Funmi Ayeni (Nuffield Foundation student)