Prof. Colin Fishwick
Colin Fishwick received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Liverpool, graduating with First Class Honours in 1982. He went on to carry out his PhD there from 1982-1985 before joining the staff at University of Leeds in 1985. He was appointed to a Chair in Medicinal Chemistry in 2009. He is currently Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Leeds and Honorary Visiting Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bradford, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics and at the University of Sheffield. He has authored more than 100 publications. In 2018 he took up the post of Head of School in the School of Chemistry at Leeds.
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Prof. Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson is Professor of Computational Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Leeds. He obtained his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He joined the University of Leeds in 1980 after postdoctoral work at the ETH, Zurich (with Albert Eschenmoser), Harvard University (Nobel Laureate, E.J.Corey) and a position on the academic staff of the University of North London.
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Dr. Martin McPhillie
Martin is a Teaching and Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry. He became interested in computer-aided drug discovery & medicinal chemistry during his MChem/PhD (Leeds) and applied this training to several short postdoc positions in the area of infectious diseases (malaria, toxoplasmosis & ebola). His chemistry training has taken him to industry (Avecia Pharmaceuticals UK), America (University of Notre Dame) and back to Yorkshire (University of Sheffield). In September 2017 he took a year-long teaching position within the School of Chemistry, Leeds. His current position supports Colin as Head of School, managing his research group and providing PhD supervision. He also teaches across the BSc and MChem Chemistry courses.
Ryan began his PhD project in the Fishwick group in October 2017; the project is entitled ‘Designing a chemical “toolbox” for the efficient inhibition of metalloenzymes’. The initial targets of this project are metallo-β-lactamases, an emergent bacterial threat. What is learnt from the inhibition of these enzymes will then be translated to other metal-containing enzymes. Structure-based drug design is coupled with computational methods to achieve these aims. Ryan’s project is funded via a BBSRC NPIF doctoral research studentship, supported by industrial partner Domainex.
Kyle’s PhD project began in October 2018, and involves the design of novel inhibitors for both the DNA Gyrase and Topoisomerase IV enzymes that exist in bacteria. The hope is to combat emerging resistances that bacteria are continually evolving for the plethora of antibiotics that humanity currently has available. These enzymes monitor DNA topology within the cell. Inhibition prevents effective DNA replication and ultimately the death of the microorganism. Structure-based drug design combined with computationally assisted investigation guides this project forward.
Sam’s PhD project began in October 2019, utilising a combination of electron microscopy and structure-based drug design to discover small-molecule modulators of Insulin/Insulin-like growth factor hybrid receptors. The project aims to use these compounds to elucidate the biological role of the hybrid receptors, which may inform novel treatments for type 2 diabetes and the associated cardiovascular complications.
Sandra started her PhD in October 2019 working on a project entitled ‘Broadening the Spectrum of Antibacterial Drugs to Tackle Multidrug Resistant Gram-negative Pathogens’ in collaboration with Prof. Alexander O’Neill at the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Leeds. The project aims to optimize anti-Gram-positive antibiotics so as to improve their anti-Gram-negative activity as an approach to develop new anti-Gram-negative antibacterial agents. Her project is funded through the PhD programme provided by the Newton-Mosharafa Fund. Sandra obtained her MSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Ain Shams University, Egypt, working on the design and synthesis of EGFR/HER2 inhibitors as anticancer agents. She currently holds a position of lecturer assistant at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University.
Sam began his PhD project in September 2019; the project has the working title ‘Connecting the solid state, bioavailability and formulation strategies with the Drug-Development pipeline’. Through the use of a combination of novel and established methods for assessing the solid-state structure of drug crystals, we aim to develop a computational strategy which allows for prediction of mechanical, morphological, surface and bioavailability properties of a drug molecule in order to help guide the logical construction of formulation strategies. This will be achieved by statistical analysis of intermolecular ‘synthons’ which build up the bulk and surface of our drug crystal lattice.
Dr. Katie Simmons