Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by a small protein called beta-amyloid clumping together, becoming toxic and killing brain cells. We design and discover new drugs to reduce the toxicity of beta-amyloid, in collaboration with our spin-out company, Senexis. We are finding out how beta-amyloid kills cells by measuring how the levels of all the proteins inside a cell change when beta-amyloid is added. This will give new targets for future drugs and help with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes appears to be caused by the toxic amylin peptide killing the islets cells in the pancreas that make insulin. We are therefore also seeing how proteins in cells are affected by amylin.
Green Flurorescent Protein (GFP) is very widely used to report on when genes are switched on. Its use is hindered, however, by causing an unwanted immune response. We are therefore engineering GFP to remove its immunogenicity while maintaining its colour.
Drug Target Proteins
Drug discovery typically requires the identification of protein targets capable of eliciting a desired biological response. We are studying drug target proteins to identify properties that are desirable in human drug targets for different diseases.