- DNA chemistry
- Nucleic acid chemistry
- Nucleic acid therapeutics
- Chemical biology
- Organic chemistry
We design and synthesise new analogues of DNA for analytical and biomedical applications. Our research lies at the interface between synthetic organic chemistry, medicine, and the life sciences. Current projects are described below.
Novel chemical modifications for nucleic acid therapeutics
Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are analogues of DNA that selectively bind and regulate disease-causing RNA, enabling the precise targeting of disease. Consequently, ASOs are fast emerging as potent therapies for fighting severe, life-limiting illnesses where other approaches fail. In this project, we are developing new ASO analogues with the aim of developing cheaper, safer, and more effective treatments.
New bioconjugation tools for nucleic acid therapeutics
Targeted delivery remains a major challenge when developing therapeutic oligonucleotides. One option is to link the oligonucleotide to a targeting moiety or biomolecule to improve biodistribution. In addition, oligonucleotide-protein conjugates are gaining importance as diagnostic tools. Despite these exciting applications, conjugating an oligonucleotide to other moieties can be challenging. We are interested in developing new approaches for conjugating oligonucleotides with other biomolecules.
New tools to study nucleic acids
We design and apply chemically modified DNA to study and manipulate biological systems. By better understanding how nucleic acids behave in biological environments, we can start to develop new, more potent therapeutic agents.