Mr Tom Heyman

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I am currently developing novel therapeutics which recognise and cleave highly oncogenic miRNAs (i.e. miR-17, miR-21 and miR-155) that are commonly overexpressed in almost every cancer type and have associations with poor prognosis. These Peptidyl-Oligonucleotide conjugates are comprised of a recognition oligonucleotide motif attached to a catalytic peptide with cleavage capabilities. As each miRNA are posttranscriptional regulators of multiple gene targets, these therapeutics have the potential to downregulate expression of multiple genes whilst only interacting with a single type of miRNA. These novel peptidyl-oligonucleotide conjugates are fully characterised with NMR and mass spectrometry, and their binding and cleavage efficacy are assessed using various assays. The best candidates will be selected for functional, in vitro and in vivo assays.


  • miRNA, mRNA, Epigenetics, Cancer, biotechnology