Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

School of Pharmacy

Recent achievements in medicinal chemistry include the targeting of epigenetics (Ganesan), protein-protein interactions (Searcey, Beekman) and antibody-drug conjugates (Searcey). Our chemical biology interests include the discovery of biologically active natural products (Ganesan, Hamilton) and molecular pharmaceutics (Matthews). These lines of research are supported by UKRI (EPSRC (Searcey); BBSRC (Searcey, Ganesan), industrial funding (Hamilton, Ganesan), Big C (Searcey), Royal Society and British Council (Matthews, Ganesan). Ganesan was the chair of the EU funded COST action Epigenetic Chemical Biology (EPICHEM).

  • By using an in vivo mouse model of lung infection we demonstrated that our novel Calix[4]arene-based glycoclusters functionalized with galactosides or fucosides provided an almost complete protection against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Matthews).
  • As part of an interdisciplinary team (UCL, Southampton, Hong-Kong, UEA), Ganesan showed that NAADP signalling plays a major role in reperfusion-induced cell death and represents a potent pathway for protection against reperfusion injury.
  • Searcey and Beekman discovered a highly efficient approach to the development of inhibitors of the p53/hDMX or hDM2 interaction that involves the design of small molecules in silico based upon a peptide/protein structure.
  • Hamilton made significant advances in the translation of garlic derived secondary metabolites as natural pesticides that are now in commercial use.

This research cluster is led by Professor Ganesan.