University of Dundee

Latest News for 09/2020

July 2020

  • Dr Gopal Sapkota
    15 Jul 2020

    University of Dundee researchers have demonstrated a new method of destroying an ‘undruggable’ protein known to play a role in cancer, raising the possibility of a new therapeutic approach to the disease. Mutations of the K-Ras protein have long been known to cause many cancers, including lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers, but despite decades of work by researchers across the world, an inhibitor for this protein has proven elusive. As a result, scientists have increasingly looked to novel ways of targeting K-Ras.

June 2020

  • EUbOPEN logo
    08 Jun 2020

    Almost twenty years after deciphering the human genome, our understanding of human disease is still far from complete. One of the most powerful and versatile tools to better understand biology and disease-relevant processes are well-characterized small chemical modulators of protein function. The newly formed public-private partnership “Enabling and Unlocking biology in the OPEN” (EUbOPEN) aims to develop high quality chemical tool compounds for 1,000 proteins (one third of the druggable proteins in the human body).

May 2020

  • 18 May 2020

    Proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) compounds developed at the University of Dundee are being made available free of charge by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim through their scientific crowdsourcing platform opnMe.com. The opnMe portal provides free and open access to selected molecules for the scientific community aiming at accelerating research initiatives that can benefit patients with high unmet medical need.

April 2020

  • Professor Alessio Ciulli
    07 Apr 2020

    A University of Dundee spinout has announced a multi-million pound deal to develop first-in-class cancer therapeutics that harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease causing proteins.

November 2019

  • Clockwise from top left: Dr Andrea Testa, Dr Scott Hughes, Dr Jane Wright &  Dr Xavier Lucas with macroPROTAC
    27 Nov 2019

    Researchers in the Ciulli group report a first study describing the idea of a macrocyclic PROTAC. The research was published in the prestigious chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. PROTACs (for proteolysis-targeting chimeras) are double-headed molecules composed of a ligand for a target protein and a ligand for an E3 ubiquitin ligase, chemically joined by a flexible linker. The PROTAC simultaneously recruits the target protein and the E3 ligase into close proximity, and this leads to the target protein being destroyed inside the cell.

October 2019

  • Alessio Ciulli at Galien Foundation
    29 Oct 2019

    School of Life Science’s Professor Alessio Ciulli was amongst a selected group of world’s leading expert scientists and key opinion leaders who spoke at the Galien Forum on October 24, 2019, at the Alexandria Center in New York City. Alessio’s panel, entitled ‘Drugging the Undruggable with Novel Approaches to Small Molecule Design’, was chaired by Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Mikael Dolsten.

August 2019

  • Hannah Tovell
    29 Aug 2019

    Hannah Tovell a PhD student in Dario Alessi lab working in collaboration with Claire Crafter (AstraZeneca) and Alessio Ciulli and Andrea Testa in his lab have elaborated a compound that we have termed SGK3-PROTAC1 that induces selective degradation of SGK3 protein kinase. Hannah was able to show that SGK3-PROTAC1 suppressed proliferation of ZR-75-1 and CAMA-1 cancer cell lines treated with a PI3K inhibitor (GDC0941) more effectively than could be achieved by a conventional SGK isoform inhibitor (14H), underscoring the benefit of the PROTAC approach.

July 2019

  • Professor Alessio Ciulli
    08 Jul 2019

    The University of Dundee has announced a new partnership with Eisai, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, aiming to create innovative new drugs for the cancer field. The collaboration combines the world-leading PROTACs expertise and technology of Professor Alessio Ciulli from the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery in the School with Eisai’s discovery research and clinical development experiences in oncology.

June 2019

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