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What are Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology?
Pharmaceutical chemistry is the process of making a new drugs, including their design, synthesis, and optimization of the drug molecules.
Chemical biology is the application of chemistry, including the use of chemical compounds and chemical tools and technologies, to study and manipulate biology.
We would welcome enquiries from PhD-qualified researchers from all countries outside the UK wishing to apply for a Marie Curie Fellowship to come and join our dynamic group at Aston. There are two Fellowship Schemes available:
PhD Projects and collaborations
My research projects cover a broad area and include:
The range of projects available at Aston can be found on the PhD Projects page, and some specific examples in my group are (click on the title to download more details of the project):
Chemical proteomics to understand the mechanism and side effects of antibiotics
The effect of surface modification and topography on stem cell differentiation
PTEN Redox Signalling through protein interactions
Lipoproteins as a window on cardiovascular health.
Membrane protein lipidomics in the study of microbial division
New methods for studying the effects of redox biochemistry on protein function
Post-graduate students are vital to the research that we do and are an integral part of our research group, both scientifically and socially. We aim to provide a dynamic research environment where you can develop the skills necessary to embark on the next step of your career, such as independent thinking, problem solving, project organization, writing and public speaking. Over the last few years I have supervised more than 20 students on post-graduate research degrees through to the completion of their studies, including 12 PhD students, all of whom have gone on to full time careers in many different areas, from the police force to academia.
Every year we also host a number of overseas students who choose to do their placement in our labs. If you have your own funding and would like the opportunity to come and work with us then please contact me.
Membership of Professional and other Bodies
2012 – 2015 European Regional Development Fund. Promoting Biomarker Development in West Midlands SME's 2011 – 2016 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Proxomics; Next Generation Analytical Tools: Applications to Protein Oxidations that Affect Human Health and Wellbeing 2009 – 2012 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Molecular Nose 2008 – 2015 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. A Doctoral Training Center for Cell and Proteomic Technologies 2007 – 2011 Scottish Funding Council. Biomarkers for Battling Chronic Disease 2005 – 2011 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The RASOR Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Proteomic Technologies.
The ERDF project was part funded by the European Union
2012 - date Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Aston University 2009 - 2011 Reader, Division of Integrative and Systems Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences 2005 - 2011 Director, RASOR Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Proteomic Technologies 2005 - 2011 Director, Doctoral Training Centre in Proteomics 2005 - 2011 Director, Sir Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics Facility 2005 - 2009 Senior Lecturer in Proteomics, Division of Integrative and Systems Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences 2002 - 2005 Deputy Director and Head of Proteomics, SHWFGF, University of Glasgow1993 - 2002 Lecturer, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde.1990 - 1993 Research Fellow, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge.1989 - 1992 Schering Fellow in Bioorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge.1988 - 1989 Research Assistant, Oxford University.1985 - 1988 D.Phil., Biological Chemistry, Oxford University.1982 - 1985 B.Sc, Chemistry, University of Bristol
PH3602: Antimicrobial agents and anticancer agentsPH3605: Medicinal chemistry – drugs from natural products and modern approaches to target discovery
While I spend most of my time teaching and running my research group at Aston, my research interests have led me into a number of other activities:.
I am currently the President of the British Society for Proteome Research – the BSPR.
The BSPR is the society for all UK scientists interested in the field of proteomics and closely related fields. Proteomics is the study of the proteins contained in a biological sample, which could be a virus, a cell, tissue, blood, or any other biological materials.
The aims of the society are to advance the science of proteomics, and to promote the study and research in this and related areas, for the benefit of all. It enables scientists to keep up-to-date with current developments both nationally and internationally and to meet and exchange ideas with other workers. It has a particular focus on education, and offers a range of benefits, including a number of bursaries for members to attend scientific meetings and workshops. Unlike many learned societies the BSPR has members from a wide range of organizations including industry and the health service, as well as research and academic institutions.
The BSPR offers a nuber of generous bursaries to student members to attend meetings, and frequently offers discount rates to membeers at its annual meeting. It also supports a number of proteomics meetings around the UK.
The Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Conventions are two International treaties that prohibit the generation, production, stockpiling or use of these weapons. My interest in these is how the developments in modern science are both a threat and of potential benefit to these conventions, and how scientific research developed for benefit could also be put to detrimental use, the dual-use conundrum.
I got into this area because many of the tools and technologies that have been developed in my research fields, and some of the understanding of biology that we gain from it, have the potential for dual use, or could be used to detect the use of biological or chemical weapons and identify the weapon. Dual use means that while the science was developed for beneficial reasons, such as to understand and treat disease, the very same science could possibly be used to do harm. A recent good example of this was the genomic sequencing of the flu virus that was responsible for the 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide. The science gave us a much better understanding of why this particular flu virus was so harmful, which means we are better prepared and can produce better treatments, should a similar outbreak occur. The question is, could this information now be used to engineer an artificial virus with similar properties.