"The aim of this project is to design and synthesize helically folded aromatic oligoamides that chemically and structurally mimic the surface of double stranded DNA. The potency of these foldamers to interact with DNA processing enzymes relevant in cancer therapy will be assessed in order to establish structure-activity relationships. The research program primarily involves the chemical synthesis of novel anion bearing foldamers as well as structural investigations; modelling studies in search of the best DNA mimic in terms of effective length, diameter, groove width and depth; the identification of potential protein targets; and the functional assessment of the foldamers' ability to bind to and inhibit at least one important DNA processing enzyme. The training program, and in particular the ambitious and potentially very high impact multidisciplinary research project, has been designed so as to serve the applicant's ambition to embrace an academic research career at the highest level. Training at helical foldamer chemistry will be provided by the host group of Dr. Ivan Huc at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux, France. Biochemical assays will be carried out during secondments at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Bordeaux."
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