University of Dundee

School of Research

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A chemical glimpse into life’s origins

How did life start out on this planet, around 3.5 billion years ago? Since we cannot go back in time to look we can only get hints by projecting backwards from contemporary life, and doing experiments that test the limits of what might have been possible. One widely accepted theory is that proteins were too complicated to make in the early stages, and that a molecule called RNA (very similar to its more-famous cousin DNA) was the key player that directed the metabolism of primitive cells.

Will Farnaby becomes Principal Investigator in CeTPD

William Farnaby has been appointed as Principal Investigator within the newly formed Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD). Will’s research will innovate chemical approaches to discover and develop molecules that can probe new ways of addressing disease. There will be a particular focus on Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases where there are currently unmet needs for conditions affecting hundreds of millions of people globally.

Paul Wyatt looks back at his time in Dundee

Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), Director of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research is leaving the University to take up a new role at Sitala Bio Ltd. Paul came to Dundee in 2006 to help establish the DDU from its inception, after it was created by Professor Mike Ferguson and Professor Alan Fairlamb. Since that time, the DDU has grown from a handful of members to an established 130 strong team with substantial capabilities to develop drugs for a wide number of diseases.

Study could help to defend humans and crops from yeast infection

Clues to the mechanism of yeast infections, which present risks to both humans and crops, have been identified. 

The study has focused on a family of proteins, known as Mep-Amt-Rh, which enable them to transport ammonium, a significant compound involved in growth and differentiation of yeasts.

Three proteins of the family are found in baker’s yeast but only one of these, Mep2, is capable of triggering filamentation, the process of cell growth which can lead to infection by pathogenic fungi.