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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on design of peptide antagonists with high affinity and specificity for inhibiting protein-protein interactions. While forces driving stability are now well understood, much less is known about designing specificity. We use a Protein-fragment Complementation Assay (PCA), which utilises semi-rational design to select antagonists of Jun and Fos peptides that interact in the oncogenic Activator Protein-1 transcriptional regulator. We have 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 coiled coil stability and specificity based only the primary sequence, and to consequently design peptides. Our screening approach is also applied to a range of other therapeutically relevant systems that include β-amyloid and α-synuclein 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 Feb 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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