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The University of Southampton

Royal Society of Chemistry Honour for Southampton Researcher

Published: 15 May 2018
Professor Ali Tavassoli
Professor Ali Tavassoli

We are pleased to announce that Professor Ali Tavassoli has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2017 Medimmune Protein and Peptide Science Award.

Ali, a professor of Chemical Biology, received the RSC's award in recognition of his work with genetically-encoded cyclic peptide libraries called SICLOPPS and their use for identifying inhibitors of a variety of protein-protein interactions.

Molecules discovered by Ali’s lab using SICLOPPS include a cyclic peptide inhibitor of the Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 that stops the adaptation of tumours to their low-oxygen microenvironment, an inhibitor of HIV budding, and a molecule that activates the cellular energy sensor AMPK as a potential exercise mimic and diabetes therapy.

Ali’s lab have also developed cells with built in genetic circuits to stop tumour growth reported an improved version of SICLOPPS, and a method for generating bicyclic peptide libraries.

Professor Tavassoli said: “I am honoured to receive this award. I would like to dedicate it to current and former members of the Tavassoli lab. I am grateful for their contribution, hard work and dedication to advancing our scientific vision.”

“I would also like to thank my collaborators whose expertise has enabled some of the key advances by my lab, as well as the charities, funding agencies, and pharmaceutical companies that have provided financial support for our research.”

Professor Gill Reid, Head of Chemistry at the University added: “I am delighted to offer my congratulations to Ali on receiving this award from the RSC in recognition of the work his research group has led in identifying new families of protein-protein inhibitors for future disease treatments.

Chemistry is an enabling science at the heart of many important scientific advances. Ali’s award further exemplifies the quality and impact of the research taking place in Chemistry at Southampton - particularly at the interfaces between disciplines.”


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