Peptide science

Medicinal Chemistry has core expertise in the area of peptide science. This encompasses the design and generation of bioactive peptides and peptidomimetics, structural studies of peptides by NMR and computer modelling, and generation of peptide conjugates for imaging or novel delivery systems.

Peptides constitute a fruitful starting point for developing therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Among our lead peptides are natural product toxins from scorpions and sea anemone species and bacteria. Equally, we can adapt human peptide hormones, modifying their native biological behaviour for pharmacological applications.

Peptides have potent physiological effects, but often their use as therapeutics is limited by poor in vivo stability and hindered transport across biological barriers. Modifying peptides structurally can overcome these limitations and lead to effective treatments. In addition, conjugation of peptides with other groups can provide for diagnostic labelling or enhanced drug delivery properties.

Structure of HsTX1, a potent Kv1.3- selective analogue of the scorpion toxin HsTX1 as a potential therapeutic for autoimmune diseases

Principal investigators