Identification and Optimisation of Inhibitors of the Aurora A/N-Myc Protein-Protein Interaction in Neuroblastoma

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


The project will focus on identifying compounds which can disrupt the Aurora A/N-Myc protein-protein interaction. The N-Myc protein is often overexpressed in the paediatric tumour Neuroblastoma and correlates with a poorer prognosis. N-Myc is highly variable and is considered "undruggable". However the Aurora A/N-Myc complex contains sites which could be targeted by small molecules and disrupt the interaction. When N-Myc is removed from this complex, sites of phosphorylation become accessible, which targets the protein for proteasomal degradation. Reduction of N-Myc leads to cell death and shows promise as a therapy for some cancers.

The project will involve virtual screening to identify initial hits from fragment and compound libraries, biological assays to assess binding strength and synthesis of analogues to optimise hits.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509681/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1799063 Studentship EP/N509681/1 30/09/2016 30/05/2020 Sarah Louise Ward
Description Tutorial course design for GCSE/A-level students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A series of tutorials designed around my research for GCSE and A-level students with the potential to go to top universities, with a particular focus on those from underrepresented backgrounds. Following the course, students had a better idea of university life and research, and many claimed it had changed their opinions on their futures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018