MIH Showcase: Dr Cassandra Fleming and Dr David McDonald – School of Chemistry MIH Showcase: Dr Cassandra Fleming and Dr David McDonald – School of Chemistry

MIH Showcase: Dr Cassandra Fleming and Dr David McDonald

Friday, 14 June 2024 11:00am – 12:00pm

This seminar will be delivered in Lecture Theatre 4

Host: Dr Constance Bailey

Talk 1: Molecular Tools for Chemical Biology

Dr Cassandra Fleming, University of Sydney

Abstract: Light serves as a valuable tool to probe intricate biochemical processes in both healthy and diseased cells and tissue. Indeed, fluorescence enables the capturing of real-time cellular events, and the with the continual advancement of imaging techniques, new and more sophisticated fluorescent entities are highly sort after. Light can also be employed as a valuable external stimulus to control the structure and function of bio-relevant molecules with high spatiotemporal control in cellular and multicellular matrixes. This seminar will highlight our current research activities in the development of (i) new water-soluble fluorescent entities; and (ii) photolabile caging groups with clickable targeting properties.

Bio: Cassandra obtained her PhD in 2015 from Deakin University. She then moved to Sweden for postdoctoral work at Chalmers University of Technology and a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Gothenburg. In 2020, Cassandra joined Auckland University of Technology as lecturer before moving to the University of Sydney in 2024.

Talk 2: An ultra-rapid platform to develop degraders of bacterial virulence factors

Dr David McDonald, Yale University

Abstract: Bacterial pathogens secrete virulence factors that promote infection, proliferation, and disease. Degradation of virulence factors represents a novel approach to the treatment of bacterial infection, particularly in the face of increasing antibiotic resistance. We have developed an approach to the discovery and validation of ligands, synthesis of degraders, and cellular validation in just 30 days. This presentation will provide an overview of the development of this platform and its application to target proteins from Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis.

Bio: David McDonald completed his doctoral studies here at USYD under the guidance of Professors Richard Payne and Scott Byrne in 2017. Following his PhD, he transitioned to Yale University in 2018 to undertake postdoctoral research in the field of Chemical Biology, mentored by Professor David Spiegel.

In 2019, Dr. McDonald was appointed as a member of the research faculty at Yale, where he continued his close collaboration with the Spiegel laboratory on the development of innovative chemical biology methodologies aimed at combating human diseases.

David is currently establishing his independent lab at USYD, developing the next generation of extracellular targeted protein degraders.

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Jun 14 2024


11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4
Level 2, School of Chemistry

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