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Cobb Research Group

Group News !!!

Grant Success - in colloboration with Dr Fionnuala Lundy (Queen's Univresity Belfast) we have been awarded a British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy research project grant to develop new compounds to target biofilm formation.

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherap

Congratulations to Hannah, (working in collaboration with Dr Paul Denny), who was awarded first prize for the best oral presentation at the recent RSC Chemical Biology and Bio-Organic Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium at Bristol University. Her talk was titled 'Developing Peptide-Mimetics for the Treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis' - Well Done Hannah ! (July 2015).

Chemistry World article by Sam Lear - Congratulations to Sam, who was a runner up in the recent RSC World Science Communication Competition. Sam’s 800 word article based on this year’s topic: chemistry and art secured him second place in the final which was recently held at Burlington house. Sam’s article “Perfumery: the molecular art form” is available to read in Chemistry World (May issue). - Well Done Sam !

Recentwork on linear peptoids by the Cobb Group in colloboration with Paul Denny (Durham, Medicine and Health) was featured as an Editor's choice article and on the inside cover of ChemMedChem. For the issue see:

The study details the first examples of linear peptoids that have activity against the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana, a causative agent of the neglected tropical disease cutaneous leishmaniasis, which is endemic in South America. The investigation was carried out by Dr Gabriela Eggimann (Swiss National Science Foundation PDRA) and Hannah Bolt (PhD student). The front cover was designed by Sam Lear of the Cobb Group.

The group welcomes our new PhD students, visitors and Masters students! Find out more about the members of the group here -

Sam Lear (PhD student) gives a talk on the synthesis of the naturally occuring peptide Lassomycin at the Dutch Peptide Symposium (Utrecht) May 2014

The group is awarded an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) grant to fund a PDRA for 12 months (May 2014)

The group files two patents based on work funded by an EPSRC first grant (May 2014)

Hannah Bolt (PhD student) wins a college scholarship to fund travel to the US for her research into peptoids. Well done Hannah!

Jan 2014 Frances defends her PhD thesis. Well done Frances! (the groups first PhD student to defend their thesis!)

Jan 2014 Sam Lear graduates with MRes (Sam is now a PhD student in the group) - Well done Sam !

Bnar wins first place (poster) at the recent RSC Protein and Peptide Science Group meeting (Nov 2013)

Steven and Prof Graham Sandford lead a successful 3.3 millon Euro EU ITN bid (FLUOR21) which will start in June 2014.

Dr Steven Cobb (Chemistry) was a member of an international team of researchers that recently received a 3 year grant from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. The team led by Dr Ka-Leung Wong (Hong Kong Baptist University) comprised of researchers from Durham, Hong Kong Baptist University and City University of Hong Kong. The project will look to develop a new generation of multi-functional cyclin specific probes for in vitro cancer cell imaging and in the longer term in vivo imaging of tumours. This project will build on the work previously published by the team in Chem. Commun. last year (Two-photon induced responsive f-f emissive detection of Cyclin A with a europium-chelating peptide, Chem. Commun. 2011, 47(28): 8052-8054).

The group’s recent Bill and Melinda Gates grant is highlighted on the EPSRC website:

Frances was selected to give a talk at the SET for Britain event run as part of the National Science and Engineering Week ( Frances presented her PhD work on the development of new antileishmanials to Members of Parliament at Westminster.

Peptoids available

Check out ISCA Biochemicals and their new peptoid products

Peptide and Peptoid Calculators

Sam Lear from the group makes his own peptide calculator - why not try it out!

Check out the brand new PEPTOID calculator developed by Sam in the group.

Recent Publications

(41) Bolt HL, Eggimann GA, Denny PW,* and Cobb SL.,* "Enlarging the chemical space of anti-leishmanials: a structure-activity relationship study of peptoids against Leishmania mexicana, a causative agent of cutaneous leishmania" ChemMedComm. 2016, Advance Article - DOI: 10.1039/C6MD00060F [selected as a 2016 MedChemComm Hot Article]

(40) Lear S* and Cobb SL “ a set of web utilities for the calculation of peptide and peptoid properties and automatic mass spectral peak assignment” J. Comput. Aided Mol. Des. 2016, 30, 271-277

(39) Bolt HL., Cobb SL.*, "A practical method for the synthesis of peptoids containing both lysine-type and arginine-type monomers" Org. Biomol. Chem., 2016, 14, 12-11-1215

(38) C-F. Chan, C. Xie, M-K Tsang, S Lear, L. Dai, Y. Zhou, J. Cicho, M. Karbowiak, D. Hreniak,* R. Lan,* S.L. Cobb, M. H-W. Lam, J. Hao, and K-L. Wong* “The Effects of Morphology and Linker Length on the Properties of Peptide–Lanthanide Upconversion Nanomaterials as G2 Phase Cell Cycle Inhibitors” Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., 2015, 2015(27), 4539-45-45

(32) Eggimann GA, Bolt HL, Denny PW* and Cobb SL* "Investigating the Anti-leishmanial Effects of Linear Peptoids", ChemMedChem, 2015, 10(2):233-7 [Inside Journal Cover]