- 01865 271590
Funded by BBSRC, NC3R, MRC, BMS-Celgene, Circadian Therapeutics and Wellcome Trust.
We work on drug discovery and target identification for a range of brain-related and metabolic disorders.
I am passionate about science whose benefits can be realised in a immediate to medium term. My research interests are to develop new chemical tools and drugs with which to probe cell-signalling mechanisms and physiology. We use a broad range of techniques ranging from traditional biochemistry, computer-based screening, multi-omics approaches and phenotypic screens. Studying lithium, natural molecules and drug repurposing are often favourite pastime for members of the lab. Some of our interests include:
1) Identifying novel small molecular modulators of circadian rhythms: Circadian rhythms are ubiquitous 24-h rhythms in behaviour and physiology, regulated by a molecular clock. Our phenotypic screens have identified a range of novel signalling targets through which drugs can modulate the clock and we are evaluating these in cellular and animal models with a view to translate to clinical application (relating to metabolism and dementia) in collaboration with industrial and academic partners.
2) Evaluating the role of sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance on pathophysiology of degenerative disorder. Sleep and circadian rhythm immensely affects brain and general physiology. For instance a single night of sleep disturbance increases levels of AB peptide and Tau by up to 50% in humans (same with alpha-synuclein) with restorative sleep bringing back these levels to baseline. We are currently involved in studying the mechanisms regulating this process and the links between sleep and glymphatic clearance.
3) Understanding signalling mechanisms underlying pathophysiology of bipolar disease: Bipolar disease is a complex psychiatric illness for which the underlying pathophysiology is poorly understood. Our current studies use patient-samples to further study altered signalling in bipolar disease. We are currently applying a multi-omics approach to tackle this problem. We also obsess about the targets thorough which lithium mediates its therapeutic and not-so-therapeutic effects. If you join our lab at some point you'll be working on this,.
4) Developing transcription factor modulators: We have used computer-based screens to identify molecules that act as transcription factor modulators and are currently evaluating a range of these in cellular models,