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Research projects

Professor Keith Jones, Medicinal Chemistry 3 team

The core skill of the Professor Jones’ Team is synthetic organic chemistry – the ability to make small molecules – using all the reactions and techniques that have been developed over more than 100 years of organic chemistry.

From time to time, we will have to invent a new method for the synthesis of particular compounds but the real aim of all our work is to use our novel small molecules to shed light on aspects of biology with the ultimate aim of inventing new cancer therapeutics.

Kinases

Kinase enzymes that catalyse the transfer of a phosphate group to the hydroxyl group of a substrate protein are key enzymes in signalling pathways that drive cell proliferation which are often de-regulated in tumour cells. We are involved in the search for novel, small molecule kinase inhibitors in a variety of ways.

Phosphatases

In contrast to kinases, phosphatases catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphate esters from phospho-proteins. As the counterpart to kinases, they too are involved in many cell signalling pathways but they have been much less explored than kinases particular in terms of inhibition.  

Chaperones

The molecularly-crowded environment of the cell puts a particular stress on the proteins the cell requires for growth and replication. In order to cope with this stress, cells have evolved a group of proteins known as chaperone proteins.  

Protein/Protein Interactions

It has become clear over the last 20 years that many cellular processes are governed by the physical interaction of two or more proteins.  

It has become clear over the last 20 years that many cellular processes are governed by the physical interaction of two or more proteins.