The SLC group aims to use a range of methods in synthetic organic and peptide chemistry to tackle interesting and challenging biological problems.
Some project highlights include:
New antiparasitics inspired by naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides are being developed in collaboration with researchers both at Durham and at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Medical Research (Maryland, US).
Working with Dr Ehmke Pohl (Durham, Protein Crystallography) and Professors Simi Ali and John Kirby (Newcastle University, Medical School) peptide inhibitors of chemokine induced chemotaxis are being designed, with the aim of reducing inflammation and thus protecting cardiac tissue during heart by-pass operations.
New biomaterials and light activated peptide drug delivery systems that exploit novel amino acids prepared in the group are being developed in collaboration with Dr Karl Coleman (Durham) and Dr Ka-La Wong (Hong Kong Baptist University) respectively.
Utilising Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis (SPPS) novel amino acids prepared within the group are being incorporated site specifically in small proteins of up to 200 amino acids. The incorporation of these novel amino acids provides a reactive handle for selective and controlled protein modification or they enable information about a specific protein to be gathered using a range of biophysical techniques. At the present time we are carrying out the total chemical synthesis of several targets with the aim of providing labelled proteins that can be used as to understand things such as protein-protein interactions and protein misfolding in a range of diseases.