Efficient design of drugs using new nanoscale technologies

Principal advisor: Dr Conan Wang c.wang@imb.uq.edu.au

Powerful technologies have emerged to perform millions of experiments quickly in tiny nanolitre droplets, and have attracted wide interest from major pharmaceutical companies because of the potential to accelerate drug discovery. Honours project opportunities are available to investigate these next-generation tools for drug design and learn new skills in one or more areas of nanotechnology and molecular biology. 

Designing protein drugs for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases

Principal advisor: Dr Conan Wang c.wang@imb.uq.edu.au

Cytokines are signalling proteins that play essential roles in immune responses and have garnered clinical interest in the context of cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious disease. This project aims to overcome their limitations of poor stability, activity, and specificity to develop new therapeutics. Candidates will learn new skills in drug design and characterisation using tools in molecular biology, biochemistry, and structural biology. 

  • Rational Design of Potent Peptide Inhibitors of the PD-1:PD-L1 Interaction for Cancer Immunotherapy.

    Yin H, Zhou X, Huang YH, King GJ, Collins BM, Gao Y, Craik DJ, Wang CK.

    J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Nov 10;143(44):18536-18547. doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c08132. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

    PMID: 34661406

  • Improving Stability Enhances In Vivo Efficacy of a PCSK9 Inhibitory Peptide.

    Zhang Y, Wang L, Tombling BJ, Lammi C, Huang YH, Li Y, Bartolomei M, Hong B, Craik DJ, Wang CK.

    J Am Chem Soc. 2022 Oct 26;144(42):19485-19498. doi: 10.1021/jacs.2c08029. Epub 2022 Oct 12.

    PMID: 36222719

  • Bioactive Cyclization Optimizes the Affinity of a Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 (PCSK9) Peptide Inhibitor.

    Tombling BJ, Lammi C, Lawrence N, Gilding EK, Grazioso G, Craik DJ, Wang CK.

    J Med Chem. 2021 Mar 11;64(5):2523-2533. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01766. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

    PMID: 33356222

  • Anchor Residues Guide Form and Function in Grafted Peptides.

    Yin H, Craik DJ, Wang CK.

    Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 Jun 3;58(23):7652-7656. doi: 10.1002/anie.201901572. Epub 2019 May 2.

    PMID: 30916847

  • EGF-like and Other Disulfide-rich Microdomains as Therapeutic Scaffolds.

    Tombling BJ, Wang CK, Craik DJ.

    Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Jul 6;59(28):11218-11232. doi: 10.1002/anie.201913809. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

    PMID: 31867866

  • Designing macrocyclic disulfide-rich peptides for biotechnological applications.

    Wang CK, Craik DJ.

    Nat Chem Biol. 2018 May;14(5):417-427. doi: 10.1038/s41589-018-0039-y. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

    PMID: 29662187