Department of Structural and Molecular Biology
Division of Biosciences
University College London
Darwin Building - Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London, UK
PhD Student (BBSRC)
Bsc. Biochemistry w. Year in Research (Imperial College London)
Year in research undertaken within the Driscoll group at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
Project in the Hansen Group:
My interests lie in the inhibition of HDACs as a therapeutic target, two HDAC inhibitors are currently clinically approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (though numerous other diseases have been shown to have links with HDAC dysfunction). These hydroxamic acid based inhibitors do not show very strong selectivity towards any of the 11 HDAC isoforms, since HDACs are involved in such a large number of cellular processes this gives rise to many undesirable side effects during cancer treatments. It is therefore desirable to develop an HDAC inhibitor which will specifically inhibit a single isoform of HDAC thereby reducing any off target effects.
My project is split between two groups within UCL. In the Marson group (UCL Chemistry) I synthesise small molecule inhibitors HDAC8. These are then brought over to the Hansen Lab for testing. Through multiple rounds of synthesis and testing, combined with other binding studies including NMR, I am building a structure – activity relationship of these molecules which is being used to guide subsequent rounds of synthesis. I hope that this will result in a more complete understanding of HDAC-ligand binding and potentially lead to a novel high potency HDAC8-selective inhibitor.