Structural biology and drug discovery for Bcl-2 family proteins

Structural biology and drug discovery for Bcl-2 family proteins

Project details

Apoptosis is a process the body uses to protect against rogue cells, faulty regulation of the process is a hallmark of cancer and other diseases (Czabotar, Nature Reviews Mol Cell Biol 2014 15:49). We are interested in developing drugs targetting proteins that regulate apoptosis such as Bcl-xL and Bax.

This project will involve solving structures of these proteins using protein crystallography to understand how they function (Czabotar, Cell 2013 152:519). Structures can also be solved of proteins bound to drug-like molecules and medicinal chemistry used to develop these into lead candidates for drug discovery (Lessene, Nature Chemical Biology 2013 56:5514).

The project would be suited to students interested in protein crystallography, binding and biochemical binding studies and/or medicinal chemistry. 

About our research group

Our labs are situated in the Institute’s Structural Biology and ACRF Chemical Biology divisions. Our research focuses on understanding and targeting proteins involved in programmed cell death. We use structural techniques such as x-ray crystallography to image proteins to discover how they control key steps in these pathways and use medicinal chemistry to develop small molecules that can bind to these proteins and modulate their activity.    



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