Dr Rob van Montfort
Team: Hit Discovery & Structural Design
Tel: 0207 153 5142 / 0208 722 4364
The Hit Discovery & Structural Design Team consists of the Structure-Based Drug Design and the Analytical Technology and Screening Research groups.
The team is responsible for the hit generation for our drug discovery projects using high-throughput and fragment screening approaches. We focus on a variety of cancer targets, including those involved in reversible protein phosphorylation, stress response, chromatin modification and targets involving specific protein-protein interactions.
In addition, we support the design and improvement of the hits to potent and selective inhibitors with a range of assay and biophysical techniques as well as through iterative protein-ligand crystallography.
Dr Rob van Montfort studies target-directed cancer drug discovery, focusing on protein-ligand interactions, using a range of biochemical and biophysical methods as well as protein-ligand crystallography.
He leads the Hit Discovery and Structural Design team within the CR-UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at the ICR. The team is composed of the Analytical Technology and Screening and Structure-Based Design groups, and is responsible for hit identification and characterisation of advanced inhibitors resulting from the drug discovery projects of the Unit.
Dr van Montfort received his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences and PhD in protein crystallography at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He joined the eye-lens group at the School of Crystallography at Birkbeck College at the University of London as a postdoctoral fellow in 1998, where he became interested in proteins involved in stress response and solved the first structure of a eukaryotic small heat shock protein—HSP16.5 from wheat—belonging to the same protein family as HSP27.
In 2001, he joined Astex Therapeutics in Cambridge where he became involved in fragment-based drug discovery using high-throughput X-ray crystallography and ligand-based nuclear magnetic resonance methods. This research was carried out on a variety of therapeutic targets including the tyrosine phosphatase PTP1b and the serine protease thrombin.
At the end of 2007 Dr van Montfort joined the ICR, where he holds a joint position between the CR-UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit and the Division of Structural Biology. He set up the Structure-Based Drug Design Research Group and is currently leading the Hit Discovery and Structural Design Team.
AACR Honour: Team wins prestigious global award for cancer drug success
Drug discovery projects using high-throughput and fragment screening approaches on a variety of cancer targets involved in reversible protein phosphorylation, stress response, chromatin modification and targets involving specific protein-protein interactions.