Design, synthesis and Evaluation of Novel Small Molecule Modulators of Cell Signalling in Cancer

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Chemistry


Unregulated cell signalling results in uncontrolled cell proliferation, and constitutes a hallmark of cancer. In this context, small molecule modulators of cell signalling continue to play a preponderant part in anticancer drug discovery. The Baud group group focuses on several important signalling pathways playing key roles in cancer progression, including the p53 and Wnt signalling pathways. These pathways play a pivotal role in normal organismal development. However, misregulation of their activity is a hallmark of several cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the deadliest cancers worldwide. We aim to develop novel classes of small molecule modulators of these pathways, as proof-of-principle lead compounds towards first-in-class therapeutics against cancer.

The primary objective will be to develop a high profile drug discovery project aimed at identifying new anticancer small molecules targeting and modulating the biological activity of key misregulated proteins of these pathways. This will involve the molecular design, chemical synthesis and biophysical/biological evaluation of the synthesised small molecules.

The multidisciplinary nature of this project will provide the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in other relevant disciplines both in our group and with our collaborators. Those include biophysical techniques (e.g. DSF, NMR, ITC, FP, SPR, MST), biochemistry (e.g. protein expression/purification), computational approaches (e.g. docking), cell biology (e.g. cytotoxicity assays, Western-blots) and structural techniques (e.g. X-ray crystallography).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1940843 Studentship EP/N509747/1 28/09/2017 30/06/2021 Joseph Stephenson Clarke