Department of Structural and Molecular Biology

Division of Biosciences

University College London

Darwin Building - Gower Street

WC1E 6BT London, UK



Gabi Heller

Schmidt Science Fellow


Email: g.heller[at]


Twitter: @G_T_Heller






My research interests:


My research focuses on intrinsically disordered proteins, biomolecules lacking a single, rigid three-dimensional structure that instead exist as a dynamic equilibrium of conformationally distinct states. These proteins are highly prevalent in diseases such as dementia and cancer, yet are often considered therapeutically ‘untargetable’ as they lack traditional drug binding pockets. My work aims to use a combination of experimental and computational techniques to elucidate novel mechanisms by which small molecules can interact with disordered proteins towards novel therapeutics.


Brief CV:

2010-2014: BA, Chemistry and Mathematics; Pomona College

2014-2015: MPhil with Prof Michele Vendruscolo; Chemistry; University of Cambridge (Churchill Scholar)

2015-2020: PhD with Prof Michele Vendruscolo; Chemistry, University of Cambridge (Gates Cambridge Scholar)

2019-2020: Rosalind Franklin Research Fellow, Newnham College, University of Cambridge

2020-2021: Schmidt Science Fellow with Prof D. Flemming Hansen, University College London

Selected Publications:

1.   G Heller, F Aprile, T Michaels, R Limbocker, M Perni, F Ruggeri, B Mannini, T Löhr, M Bonomi, A De Simone, I Felli, R Pierattelli, T Knowles, C Dobson, M Vendruscolo. Small molecule sequestration of amyloid-β as a drug discovery strategy for Alzheimer's disease.  Science Advances, 6, 2020, eabb5924.


2.   T Michaels, A Šarić, G Meisl, G Heller, S Curk, P Arosio, S Linse, C Dobson, M Vendruscolo, T Knowles. Thermodynamic and kinetic design principles for protein aggregation inhibitors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117, 2020, 24251-24257.


3.   G Heller, M Bonomi, M Vendruscolo. Structural ensemble modulation upon small molecule binding to disordered proteins. Journal of Molecular Biology, 430, 2018, 2288-2292.


4.   G Heller, F Aprile, M Bonomi, C Camilloni, A De Simone, M Vendruscolo. Sequence specificity in the entropy-driven binding of a small molecule and a disordered peptide. Journal of Molecular Biology, 429, 2017, 2772-2779.


5.   G Heller, P Sormanni, M Vendruscolo. Targeting disordered proteins with small molecules using entropy. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 40, 2015, 491-496.


A full list of publications is available below:


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