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Personal profile

Research interests

Our research focuses on the design of peptide antagonists that can inhibit disease-relavant targets with high affinity and specificity by inhibit the protein-protein interactions (PPIs) that they require for function. While forces driving stability are now well understood, much less is understood about specificity. We use a Protein-fragment Complementation Assay (PCA), which utilises semi-rational design to select peptide antagonists. We have further devised a Competitive and Negative Design Initiative (CANDI) technique to increase target-specificity in the PCA system by expressing potential off-targets during selection. Peptides generated have allowed us to predict PPI stability and specificity based on primary sequence, and to consequently design inhibitory peptides. Our screening approach has been applied to a broad range of other therapeutically relevant systems that include signalling proteins, transcription afctors, and the amyloidogenic proteins β-amyloid and α-synuclein that are implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, respectively.

Willing to supervise doctoral students

Ongoing projects related to the design and characterisation of peptide-based inhibitors of proteins involved in disease. 

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Jan 2001

Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science, University of Bristol

Award Date: 1 Jul 1997

External positions

Alzheimer's Research UK Grant Review Board Member, Alzheimer's Research UK

Jul 2016Jun 2022

BBSRC Core Member for Panel D, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

20162022

EPSRC Associate Peer Review College, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

20162021

Editorial Board: Future Medicinal Chemistry

2011 → …

Editorial Board: PLOS One

2010 → …

Keywords

  • peptide
  • protein
  • protein folding
  • amyloid
  • protein misfolding
  • library screening
  • Alzheimer's
  • Cancer
  • peptide mimetics
  • protein-protein interactions

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