ECR Seminar: Dr Jennifer Baker; University of Newcastle
Monday, 15 August 4:00pm – 5:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4 and Online Zoom Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Dr Jennifer Baker; School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle
Host: Dr Jonathan Danon
Title: Computational design and subsequent synthesis of small molecules for anti-cancer targets
Abstract: Traditional methods of drug design involve identifying a target through mass or selective screening: optimization of a lead compound is then performed by making small improvements to the structure in each iteration. The use of virtual screening (VS) and structure-based drug design (SBDD) have become a key part of the medicinal chemist’s toolkit in recent times. These can use either the known 3D structure of the biological target (either as a crystal structure or cryo-EM), or with the generation of a homology model of the binding site if the protein sequence is known. Here I will talk about the use of these methods for the design of small molecules for a number of anti-cancer targets, and their subsequent synthesis and biological validation. Some of the diseases we have/are targeting include for breast and pancreatic cancers, and glioblastoma. I will also talk a little about when things go wrong!
Biography: Beginning her studies at the University of Newcastle in 2010, Jennifer was awarded her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in 2020. She uses computational methods to design small molecules to target particular protein targets selectively, and is currently working as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle on an Ideas Grant, in collaboration with Prof Lenka Munoz from USyd.