ECR Seminar: Dr. Conan Wang; University of Queensland
Monday, 1 May 4:00pm – 5:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2 and Online (Zoom) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Dr. Conan Wang; University of Queensland
Host: Dr Xuyu Liu
Title: Approaches to targeting undruggable targets in cardiovascular disease and cancer using constrained peptides
Abstract: Many proteins are considered ‘undruggable’ because of their large, flat, and featureless target interfaces. Constrained peptides, which fill a gap between classical small molecules and large antibody therapeutics, have potential to inhibit these challenging protein targets with high specificity. I will describe two novel approaches we have developed for design of potent lead peptides. (i) The first approach involved use of recombinant libraries to engineer bioactive cyclisation linkers to achieve a two-in-one effect of stabilisation and increased activity. (ii) The second approach was a structural one based on mimicry and grafting onto molecular scaffolds. These peptides have affinities in the pico- to nano-molar range and functional activity in vivo, making them promising therapeutic leads for cholesterol lowering or cancer immunotherapy.
Bio: Dr Conan Wang is an ARC Future Fellow, and is located at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), UQ. His research is centred on peptides and proteins, initially targeting their discovery and characterisation, and now focussed on molecular design and drug development. He was awarded a PhD on peptide structure and function from UQ in 2009, and then obtained an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to study protein structure at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Griffith University Eskitis Institute. He has authored over 90 publications on peptide discovery and design as well as on protein structure and function, which have received more than 4700 citations. His scientific achievements have been recognised by 30 national and international prizes and travel awards, including from Griffith University and the Australian Society for Medical Research, and presented at over 30 national and international conferences.