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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Chemical Biology in Reactors and Cells


The programme of training seeks to provide an ideal environment for young scientists to gain experience in aspects of chemistry and the life sciences that relate to major problems facing Chemical Biology in the post-genomic era. With the completion of the human genome sequence our understanding of the molecular basis of disease and causative factors is set to increase enormously. Two major challenges for Chemical Biology in this post genomics era will be:
- To meet the increasing demand for novel, relevant, biologically active compounds that can be used as drugs;
- To deliver sensitive and quantitative extraction and detection methodologies for the high-throughput analysis of proteins and small molecules in research programmes aimed at determining the function of genes and the composition of the food we eat.

The programme of research seeks to target two different classes of compounds important for health -therapeutics and health-promotors. It aims to develop a range of novel generic methodologies for the study of these two classes of compounds. Novel nanoscale separations materials will be produced, housed in capillary-borne microreactors linked with CCD imaging and mass spectrometry to permit real-time monitoring of the success of immobilised enzymes in therapeutic biotransformations. These same materials will be used to develop novel high-throughput separation methodologies for the analysis of different classes of health-promoting compounds extracted from plants. Together with genomic data, these analyses will enable a more complete elucidation of how the production of health-promoting compounds in plants is regulated. The programme depends on the multi-disciplinary input of analytical scientists, green chemists, plant biologists and biotechnologists and offers a unique training at the boundary between disciplines.

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