Author Archive

Antimicrobial Resistance Article Collection

We are delighted to share with you a collection of research papers, review articles and books on the topic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Warnings about the threat of antibiotic resistance, and more broadly AMR, to human health, global food production and economic prosperity are receiving increased media interest. By 2050, it is estimated that without coordinated action, 10 million people could die from previously curable illnesses.

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“At the end of this month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will present their draft global action plan on AMR at the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva, it is timely to consider the importance of chemistry in tackling antimicrobial resistance,” comments Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, Editorial Board member of MedChemComm “This collection showcases the essential contributions of chemical science to understanding antibiotic resistance, developing new treatments, diagnostics and mitigations strategies to tackle this global threat.”

“The chemical sciences play a pivotal role in a sustainable and prosperous future” says Dominic Tildesley, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry “whether it’s developing new antibiotics to combat infection, converting waste to energy, or developing efficient solar energy cells, chemists are designing and applying tomorrow’s technologies”.

All articles are freely available until 18th June. All books included here have their first chapter free to read.

Learn more about our work to support the chemical sciences community working on solutions in climate change, energy, food, health and water.

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Why is it important to address AMR?

Thomas Fleming outlines the role of chemistry in tackling antibiotic resistance as part of our recent chemistry in health video competition Beating the Superbugs – avoiding an antibiotic apocalypse – a public panel discussion chaired by Michael Moseley, science journalist and TV presenter,  with scientists and policy makers to discuss the challenges and possible solutions to addressing AMR.

Design & synthesis of new antimicrobials


Reviews and Perspectives:

Plants as sources of new antimicrobials and resistance-modifying agents
Ana Cristina Abreu, Andrew J. McBain and Manuel Simões
Nat. Prod. Rep., DOI: 10.1039/C2NP20035J, Review Article

Antibiotics from myxobacteria
Till F. Schäberle, Friederike Lohr, Alexander Schmitz and Gabriele M. König
Nat. Prod. Rep., DOI: 10.1039/C4NP00011K, Review Article

Glycopeptide dendrimers as Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm inhibitors
Jean-Louis Reymond, Myriam Bergmann and Tamis Darbre
Chem. Soc. Rev., DOI: 10.1039/C3CS35504G, Review Article

Dithiolopyrrolones: biosynthesis, synthesis, and activity of a unique class of disulfide-containing antibiotics
Bo Li, Walter J. Wever, Christopher T. Walsh and Albert A. Bowers
Nat. Prod. Rep., DOI: 10.1039/C3NP70106A, Review Article

Ruthenium complexes as antimicrobial agents
Fangfei Li, J. Grant Collins and F. Richard Keene
Chem. Soc. Rev., DOI: 10.1039/C4CS00343H, Review Article

AApeptides as a new class of antimicrobial agents
Youhong Niu, Haifan Wu, Yaqiong Li, Yaogang Hu, Shruti Padhee, Qi Li, Chuanhai Cao and Jianfeng Cai
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C3OB40444G, Perspective

Benzyl-substituted metallocarbene antibiotics and anticancer drugs
F. Hackenberg and M. Tacke
Dalton Trans., DOI: 10.1039/C4DT00624K, Perspective

Siderophore-dependent iron uptake systems as gates for antibiotic Trojan horse strategies against Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Gaëtan L. A. Mislin and Isabelle J. Schalk
Metallomics, DOI: 10.1039/C3MT00359K, Minireview

Design and synthesis of membrane-targeting antibiotics: from peptides- to aminosugar-based antimicrobial cationic amphiphiles
Ido M. Herzog and Micha Fridman
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00012A, Review Article


Original research articles:

Synthesis of antimicrobial cyclodextrins bearing polyarylamino and polyalkylamino groups via click chemistry for bacterial membrane disruption
Hatsuo Yamamura, Yuuki Sugiyama, Kensuke Murata, Takanori Yokoi, Ryuji Kurata, Atsushi Miyagawa, Kenji Sakamoto, Keiko Komagoe, Tsuyoshi Inoue and Takashi Katsu
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3CC49543D, Communication

Phenazine antibiotic inspired discovery of potent bromophenazine antibacterial agents against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis
Nicholas V. Borrero, Fang Bai, Cristian Perez, Benjamin Q. Duong, James R. Rocca, Shouguang Jin and Robert W. Huigens III
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C3OB42416B, Communication

Polymers with tunable side-chain amphiphilicity as non-hemolytic antibacterial agents
Divakara S. S. M. Uppu, Padma Akkapeddi, Goutham B. Manjunath, Venkateswarlu Yarlagadda, Jiaul Hoque and Jayanta Haldar
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3CC43751E, Communication

Mechanism of Action of the Uridyl Peptide Antibiotics: An Unexpected Link to a Protein-Protein Interaction Site in Translocase MraY
Timothy Bugg, Maria Rodolis, Agnes Mihalyi, Christian Ducho, Kornelia Eitel, Bertolt Gust and Rebecca Jane Miriam Goss
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4CC06516F, Communication

Tailored lysozyme–ZnO nanoparticle conjugates as nanoantibiotics
Nirmalya Tripathy, Rafiq Ahmad, Seung Hyuck Bang, Jiho Min and Yoon-Bong Hahn
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03712J, Communication

Inhibitors of bacterial tubulin target bacterial membranes in vivo
Marie H. Foss, Ye-Jin Eun, Charles I. Grove, Daniel A. Pauw, Nohemy A. Sorto, Jarred W. Rensvold, David J. Pagliarini, Jared T. Shaw and Douglas B. Weibel
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C2MD20127E, Concise Article

A structure activity-relationship study of the bacterial signal molecule HHQ reveals swarming motility inhibition in Bacillus atrophaeus
F. Jerry Reen, Rachel Shanahan, Rafael Cano, Fergal O’Gara and Gerard P. McGlacken
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C5OB00315F, Paper

An organometallic structure-activity relationship study reveals the essential role of a Re(CO)3 moiety in the activity against gram-positive pathogens including MRSA
Malay Patra, Michaela Wenzel, Pascal Prochnow, Vanessa Pierroz, Gilles Gasser, Julia E. Bandow and Nils Metzler-Nolte
Chem. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/C4SC02709D, Edge Article

Non-classical β-carbonic anhydrase inhibitors-towards novel anti-mycobacterials
Natascha von Gnielinski, Lisa Nienaber, Lyndel Mason, Samantha Ellis, James A. Triccas, Rohan A. Davis and Andreas Hofmann
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00310A, Concise Article

Indole-based novel small molecules for the modulation of bacterial signalling pathways
Nripendra Nath Biswas, Samuel K. Kutty, Nicolas Barraud, George M. Iskander, Renate Griffith, Scott A. Rice, Mark Willcox, David StC. Black and Naresh Kumar
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C4OB02096K, Paper

Synthesis, antiribosomal and antibacterial activity of 4′-O-glycopyranosyl paromomycin aminoglycoside antibiotics
Weiwei Chen, Takahiko Matsushita, Dimitri Shcherbakov, Heithem Boukari, Andrea Vasella, Erik C. Böttger and David Crich
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00119B, Concise Article

Antibacterial activity of adamantyl substituted cyclohexane diamine derivatives against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Beena, Deepak Kumar, Widuranga Kumbukgolla, Sampath Jayaweera, MaiAnn Bailey, Torey Alling, Juliane Ollinger, Tanya Parish and Diwan S. Rawat
RSC Adv., DOI: 10.1039/C4RA00224E, Paper

N-Substituted 2-aminoimidazole inhibitors of MRSA biofilm formation accessed through direct 1,3-bis(tert-butoxycarbonyl)guanidine cyclization
Andrew A. Yeagley, Zhaoming Su, Kára D. McCullough, Roberta J. Worthington and Christian Melander
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C2OB26469B, Paper

Development of ruthenium(II) complexes as topical antibiotics against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus
P.-L. Lam, G.-L. Lu, K.-M. Hon, K.-W. Lee, C.-L. Ho, X. Wang, J. C.-O. Tang, K.-H. Lam, R. S.-M. Wong, S. H.-L. Kok, Z.-X. Bian, H. Li, K. K.-H. Lee, R. Gambari, C.-H. Chui and W.-Y. Wong
Dalton Trans., DOI: 10.1039/C3DT52879K, Paper

Synthesis and biological activity of novel bis-indole inhibitors of bacterial transcription initiation complex formation
Marcin Mielczarek, Ruth V. Devakaram, Cong Ma, Xiao Yang, Hakan Kandemir, Bambang Purwono, David StC. Black, Renate Griffith, Peter J. Lewis and Naresh Kumar
Org. Biomol. Chem., DOI: 10.1039/C4OB00460D, Paper

Potent growth inhibitory activity of (±)-platencin towards multi-drug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Gamal A. I. Moustafa, Shoji Nojima, Yoshi Yamano, Akio Aono, Masayoshi Arai, Satoshi Mitarai, Tetsuaki Tanaka and Takehiko Yoshimitsu
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3MD00016H, Concise Article

Thiazole-based aminopyrimidines and N-phenylpyrazolines as potent antimicrobial agents: synthesis and biological evaluation
Konstantinos Liaras, Athina Geronikaki, Jasmina Glamočlija, Ana Ćirić and Marina Soković
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00124A, Concise Article

Chlorido-containing ruthenium(II) and iridium(III) complexes as antimicrobial agents
Mallesh Pandrala, Fangfei Li, Marshall Feterl, Yanyan Mulyana, Jeffrey M. Warner, Lynne Wallace, F. Richard Keene and J. Grant Collins
Dalton Trans., DOI: 10.1039/C3DT32775B, Paper

Highly active antibacterial ferrocenoylated or ruthenocenoylated Arg-Trp peptides can be discovered by an L-to-D substitution scan
H. Bauke Albada, Pascal Prochnow, Sandra Bobersky, Julia E. Bandow and Nils Metzler-Nolte
Chem. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/C4SC01822B, Edge Article


Infection prevention and alternatives to address AMR


Books and Reviews:

Polymeric Materials with Antimicrobial Activity: From Synthesis to Applications
Alexandra Muñoz-Bonilla (Editor), María Cerrada (Editor), Marta Fernández-García (Editor)
ISBN (print): 978-1-84973-807-1, Copyright: 2013

Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use
Alan B. G. Lansdown (Author)
ISBN (print): 978-1-84973-006-8, Copyright: 2010

Photodynamic Inactivation of Microbial Pathogens: Medical and Environmental Applications
Michael R Hamblin (Editor), Giulio Jori (Editor)
ISBN (print): 978-1-84973-144-7, Copyright: 2011

Towards bacterial adhesion-based therapeutics and detection methods
Núria Parera Pera and Roland J. Pieters
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3MD00346A, Review Article

Superhydrophobic surfaces for the reduction of bacterial adhesion
Xiaoxue Zhang, Ling Wang and Erkki Levänen
RSC Adv., DOI: 10.1039/C3RA40497H, Review Article

Nanosilver-based antibacterial drugs and devices: Mechanisms, methodological drawbacks, and guidelines
Loris Rizzello and Pier Paolo Pompa
Chem. Soc. Rev., DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60218D, Review Article


Original research articles:

Antimicrobial nanotechnology: its potential for the effective management of microbial drug resistance and implications for research needs in microbial nanotoxicology
Deborah M. Aruguete, Bojeong Kim, Michael F. Hochella, Yanjun Ma, Yingwen Cheng, Andy Hoegh, Jie Liu and Amy Pruden
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30692A, Critical Review

The promotion of antimicrobial activity on silicon substrates using a “click” immobilized short peptide
Lin Wang, Junjian Chen, Lin Shi, Zhifeng Shi, Li Ren and Yingjun Wang
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C3CC47922F, Communication

An efficient strategy to achieve hydrophilic polymeric silver(I) materials with exceptional antibacterial activity
Sheng-Chun Chen, Zhi-Hui Zhang, Qun Chen, Li-Qun Wang, Juan Xu, Ming-Yang He, Miao Du, Xiao-Ping Yang and Richard A. Jones
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C2CC36538C, Communication

Silver nanoparticle-embedded polymersome nanocarriers for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections
Benjamin M. Geilich, Anne L. van de Ven, Gloria L. Singleton, Liuda J. Sepúlveda, Srinivas Sridhar and Thomas J. Webster
Nanoscale, DOI: 10.1039/C4NR05823B, Paper

Antibacterial polymeric nanostructures for biomedical applications
Jing Chen, Fangyingkai Wang, Qiuming Liu and Jianzhong Du
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03001J, Feature Article

Magnetic hybrid colloids decorated with Ag nanoparticles bite away bacteria and chemisorb viruses
Hye Hun Park, SungJun Park, GwangPyo Ko and Kyoungja Woo
J. Mater. Chem. B, DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20311E, Paper

Covalent attachment of multilayers (CAM): a platform for pH switchable antimicrobial and anticoagulant polymeric surfaces
Heather A. Pearson, Joseph M. Andrie and Marek W. Urban
Biomater. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/C3BM60238A, Paper

Multi-scale strategy to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa on surfaces using solid lipid nanoparticles loaded with free fatty acids
Erik N. Taylor, Kim M. Kummer, Deepti Dyondi, Thomas J. Webster and Rinti Banerjee
Nanoscale, DOI: 10.1039/C3NR04270G, Paper

Bio-inspired resin acid-derived materials as anti-bacterial resistance agents with unexpected activities
Mitra S. Ganewatta, Yung Pin Chen, Jifu Wang, Jihua Zhou, Jerry Ebalunode, Mitzi Nagarkatti, Alan W. Decho and Chuanbing Tang
Chem. Sci., 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C4SC00034J, Edge Article

Antibacterial activity of Ionic Liquids based on ampicillin against resistant bacteria
Ricardo Ferraz, Vânia Teixeira, Débora Rodrigues, Rúben Fernandes, Cristina Prudêncio, João Paulo Noronha, Željko Petrovski and Luís C. Branco
RSC Adv., DOI: 10.1039/C3RA44286A, Paper

The surface charge of anti-bacterial coatings alters motility and biofilm architecture
Olena Rzhepishevska, Shoghik Hakobyan, Rohit Ruhal, Julien Gautrot, David Barbero and Madeleine Ramstedt
Biomater. Sci., DOI: 10.1039/C3BM00197K, Paper

Studies of the drug resistance response of sensitive and drug-resistant strains in a microfluidic system
Xiangdan Jiang, Yu Kang, Xingjie Pan, Jun Yu, Qi Ouyang and Chunxiong Luo
Integr. Biol., DOI: 10.1039/C3IB40164B, Paper

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Introducing MedChemComm Associate Editor Dr Matthew Fuchter

Dr Matthew Fuchter is a Senior Lecturer in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry within the Synthesis Group at the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College.

He completed PhD research under the supervision of Professor A. G. M. Barrett, FRS FMedSci and postdoctoral studies at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia, where he worked with Professor A. B. Holmes, FRS.

Prior to his position at Imperial College he was the RCUK Academic Fellow in Cancer Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy (University of London). He returned to Imperial College in July 2008 as a Lecturer in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in July 2012.

In 2014 he was awarded the RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize, as well as being admitted to the Royal Society of Chemistry as a Fellow.

At Imperial College he is heavily involved in research at the interface of chemistry and medicine. For example, he is a Managerial Board member of the anti-cancer drug discovery group, a Research Board member of the Institute of Chemical Biology and co-Director of the MRes in Drug Discovery.

Recent Publications:

Design, synthesis and initial characterisation of a radiolabelled [18F]pyrimidoindolone probe for detecting activated caspase-3/7
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, 13, 5418-5423, Paper

Identification of 2,4-diamino-6,7-dimethoxyquinoline derivatives as G9a inhibitors
Med. Chem. Commun., 2014, 5, 1821-1828, Concise Article
From themed collection Epigenetics

Perspectives on natural product epigenetic modulators in chemical biology and medicine
Nat. Prod. Rep., 2013, 30, 605-624, Review Article

Submit a manuscript for Matthew to handle

Visit Matthew’s Homepage


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Introducing new Editorial Board member – Professor Andrea Cavalli

Andrea Cavalli is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bologna and Head of CompuNet at the Italian Istitute of Tecnology, Genova. Prof. Cavalli received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Bologna in 1999 and did postdoctoral work at SISSA (Trieste, Italy) and ETH (Zurich, Switzerland).

Prof. Cavalli’s research has combined computational chemistry with drug discovery, focusing on neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and neglected tropical diseases. He has developed and applied computational tools and protocols to accelerate and enhance the discovery of novel lead and drug candidates. In particular, he has been a pioneer in the use of molecular dynamics simulations and related approaches to drug discovery. He is co-founder of a high-tech startup company (BiKi Technologies s.r.l.) focused on molecular dynamics and enhanced sampling in drug discovery. In an interdisciplinary effort, these approaches led to the identification and characterization of lead candidates within the framework of multitarget drug discovery and polypharmacology.

He is an author of more than 160 scientific articles published in high-ranked journals and inventor in several international patents. He has delivered numerous invited lectures and seminars at international congresses and prestigious institutions. In 2003, he was awarded the Farmindustria Prize for Pharmaceutical Research.

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MedChemComm’s new Editorial Board member – Professor Koen Augustyns

Koen Augustyns obtained his Master and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the KU Leuven, Belgium in 1988 and 1992 respectively. After postdoctoral stays at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and the University of Tübingen, Germany he was appointed as Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

His research has resulted in 135 papers (2727 citations, h-index 30) and 12 patents in the field of medicinal chemistry, mostly focused on the design and development of enzyme inhibitors in the fields of oncology and infectious diseases. Recently he has also been active in the field of activity-based probes and bioorthogonal chemistry. So far, he has supervised 20 PhD students and is currently heading an international research group of 25 PhD students and postdoctoral scientists. He has delivered over 30 invited lectures at international symposia and acted as promoter on over 60 research projects.

He was chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences from 2007-2012 and is currently vice-dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Antwerp. Since 2002, he is the President of the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Division of the Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV) in Belgium and he serves the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) as Secretary (2009-2013), President-Elect (2014) and President (2015-2017). He is a member of the Commission on Innovation Policy of the Flemish Council for Science and Innovation, the Research Foundation Flanders and the Jury of the Prix Galien Belgium. He is and was a member of several international organizing committees of medicinal chemistry symposia, and was co-chair of the EFMC-International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in 2010 in Brussels.

Recent Publication:

Selective inhibitors of fibroblast activation protein (FAP) with a xanthine scaffold
Koen Jansen, Hans De Winter, Leen Heirbaut, Jonathan D. Cheng, Jurgen Joossens, Anne-Marie Lambeir, Ingrid De Meester, Koen Augustyns and Pieter Van der Veken
DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00167B

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Chemistry in Health – Towards new therapeutics to fight disease

Chemistry in Health 2015 – Towards new therapeutics to fight disease
26 May, Burlington House, London, UK

This free to attend symposium will focus on the development of new therapies to fight infectious diseases, in particular highlighting the important role of chemistry and biochemistry. Tackling antimicrobial resistance will require researchers from a range of disciplines to work together and this event will showcase leading research from a number of our recent Prize and Award winners.

Taking place during the same month that the World Health Organisation will present their draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance at the World Health Assembly, this symposium presents a timely opportunity to highlight the role of science in mitigating antimicrobial resistance. We will also explore the development of new improved platforms for collaboration, such as Public Private Partnerships (PPP), which enable the research and development that is needed to better deliver the medicines of the future.

A poster session will be held over lunch. Poster abstract deadline: 29 April 2015.

For more information about the speaker line up and to register please visit the event page. Registration deadline: 8 May 2015.

This event is organised as part of our human health programme. You can find out more at http://rsc.li/global-challenges

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MedChemComm’s new Editorial Board member – Dr Mike Hann

Dr Mike Hann obtained his PhD in Organic chemistry at the City University in London in 1980 with Professor Peter Sammes. He then worked in the UK as a medicinal chemist at Roussel, Wyeth and GD Searle. During his time at GD Searle he had the opportunity to get involved with the emerging use of computational chemistry and molecular modelling in drug discovery.

He joined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) at Greenford in 1986 as a computational chemist and after several mergers and a lot of fun science he became head of computational chemistry at GSK in the UK and then director of Biomolecular Sciences with responsibilities for x-ray crystallography, biophysics and protein mass spectrometry studies.

His current role continues to find him at the interface of chemistry and biology, where he says “all the interesting stuff happens!“, and involves promoting scientific exchange, excellence and innovation to improve drug discovery methodologies within GSK and with our external collaborators. He has published extensively on a wide range of subjects including the following highly cited publications. He is also a visiting adjunct professor in the department of chemistry at Imperial College London.

Past publications:

  • Hann, Michael M.; Keseru, Gyoergy M. Finding the sweet spot: the role of nature and nurture in medicinal chemistry. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (2012), 11(5), 355-365.
  • Hann, Michael M. Molecular obesity, potency and other addictions in drug discovery. MedChemComm (2011), 2(5), 349-355.
  • Hann, Michael M.; Leach, Andrew R.; Harper, Gavin.  Molecular Complexity and Its Impact on the Probability of Finding Leads for Drug Discovery. Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences (2001),  41(3),  856-864.
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Prof Richard Payne wins 2015 Emerging Investigator Lectureship

"It is a real honour to be awarded the MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship. I look forward to sharing some of our latest results at a conference later this year." Richard Payne, on winning the Lectureship

Congratulations to Professor Richard Payne from University of Sydney, Australia, the recipient of the 2015 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship.

The annual MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship is given to a researcher who has made a significant contribution to medicinal chemistry research in the early part of their career. Nominations are received from members of the public and the recipient is chosen by a committee formed of members of the Editorial Board.

Richard will be presenting his lectureship at a conference of his choosing later this year.

About Richard

Richard Payne was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2002. In 2003 he was awarded a Gates Scholarship to undertake his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated with a PhD in 2006. After 18 months as a Lindemann Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla) he began his independent career (in January 2008) as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at The University of Sydney. Since 2015 he has been a Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Professor Payne’s research focusses on utilising the power of synthetic organic chemistry to interrogate biological systems and address problems of medical significance. He has made significant breakthroughs in the development of new methods for the chemical synthesis of biologically active modified proteins and in the discovery of novel lead compounds in the area of tuberculosis and malaria drug discovery.

As a result of his research endeavours he has been the recipient of several prestigious national awards including the Biota Medal in Medicinal Chemistry (2008), the Rennie Memorial Medal (2012), the Athel Beckwith Lectureship (2013), the Tregear Award for Peptide Science (2013), an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2013), the Le Févre Memorial Prize from the Australian Academy of Science, and now the 2015 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship.

Some of Richard’s recent publications

Synthesis and evaluation of phenoxymethylbenzamide analogues as anti-trypanosomal agents
Med. Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00406J, Concise Article
From themed issue New Talent: Asia-Pacific

Phosphate modulates receptor sulfotyrosine recognition by the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2)
Org. Biomol. Chem. DOI: 10.1039/C4OB02262A, Paper

Synthesis and immunological evaluation of self-adjuvanting MUC1-macrophage activating lipopeptide 2 conjugate vaccine candidates
Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03510K, Communication

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Antibiotic Resistance themed issue launched

We are pleased to announce an upcoming MedChemComm themed issue on Antibiotic Resistance. The Guest Editors for this issue are Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova (University of Kentucky, USA) and Professor Gerry Wright (McMaster University, Canada).

The scope of this issue is broad and encompasses, the mechanism of antibiotic resistance; discovery and development of novel antimicrobial agents; novel combination therapy; mechanism of action of novel antibiotics, and any other methods towards gaining a better understanding as well as combating bacterial infection and resistance to known antibiotics.

The deadline for submission is 18 August 2015.

Please e-mail the Editorial Office if you are interested in contributing an article.

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Antibiotic Resistance.

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New Editorial Board Members for MedChemComm

MedChemComm has new Editorial Board members.

Earlier this year we told you about some of the retirements from our Editorial Board, now we are pleased to introduce some new faces. We are delighted to welcome:

Professor Koen Augustyns (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Dr Christopher Burns (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia)
Professor Andrea Cavalli (University of Bologna, Italy)
Dr Mike Hann (GlaxoSmithKline, UK)
D
r Yoshinori Ikeura (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Japan)

We will introduce them all individually in a series of blogs, starting with this one.


Dr Christopher Burns

Dr Christopher Burns obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 1990. Following postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University with Prof Ken Feldman, he joined Pfizer (UK) as a medicinal chemist. After 5 years Chris returned to Australia where he worked in the field of biosensors for use in drug discovery, first as a Research Fellow at The University of Sydney, and then with biotech company Ambri.

In 2001 Chris joined Melbourne biotechnology company Cytopia to establish and lead the medicinal chemistry team and in 2006 he became Research Director. Over this time Chris led the discovery of two compounds that entered clinical trial: the orally active vascular disrupting agent lexibulin and the dual JAK1/2 inhibitor momelotinib. The latter compound, now being developed by Gilead Sciences, is currently undergoing multiple Phase II and III trials.

In 2010 Burns joined the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and has embarked on a number of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology projects currently underway. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and an Honorary Research Associate, School of Chemistry, BIO21, University of Melbourne where he lectures on anticancer drug discovery.

Chris recently contributed to our Epigenetics themed issue with his work on:

Evaluation of functional groups as acetyl-lysine mimetics for BET bromodomain inhibition
DOI: 10.1039/C4MD00182F

Chris’ homepage: http://www.wehi.edu.au/people/chris-burns

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From beehive to bone cement – a Chemistry World story

Taking inspiration from honey bees, scientists in South Korea have incorporated a compound used in beehives into a new strong biomaterial with sustained antimicrobial properties.

CAPE-loaded PMMA (left) was found to be stronger than gentamycin-loaded (right) PMMA

Bone cements have been used in surgery since the 1940s and work like a grout to fill the gaps between orthopaedic implants and bones. The most commonly used bone cements are made from a synthetic resin called poly (methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, and have recently been loaded with antibiotics, such as gentamycin, in an attempt to reduce healthcare related infections. However, the addition of antibiotics has raised concerns over antibiotic resistance, potential carcinogenic effects and the reduced mechanical strength of PMMA.

To overcome these potentially harmful limitations, a team led by Jeong Ho Chang at the Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology, have developed PMMA bone cement loaded with caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE). CAPE is an active component of bee propolis, a resin-like mixture collected by honey bees from various trees and buds and used to fill small gaps in the beehive. CAPE is thought to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer effects and has already been approved for use in foods, drinks and cosmetics by the Food and Drug Administration.

The researchers were not only able to demonstrate that CAPE-loaded PMMA is an effective antimicrobial against Staphylococcus aureus, but it also has much better compressive strength than antibiotic-loaded PMMA. This impressive strength is thought to be due to a higher packing density caused by reinforced chemical bonding between the PMMA and CAPE through homogeneous loading. In contrast, conventional antibiotic-loaded bone cements are not uniformly mixed and have low loading efficiencies, so the compressive strength is similar to native PMMA. This also explains why CAPE–PMMA exhibits more controlled and sustained antimicrobial release compared to bone cement loaded with gentamycin.

Antoni Tomsia, a biomaterials expert specialising in treatments for bone defects and diseases at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, US, thinks that the incorporation of natural antimicrobials is a good idea. However, he emphasises that antimicrobial implants must go hand-in-hand with ‘provider hand hygiene, patient decolonisation efforts, or environmental decontamination, plus sterilisation, to prevent infections.’

Initial studies were carried out in rabbits and Chang believes that CAPE-loaded PMMA bone cement could be used for human clinical applications after therapeutic efficacy evaluation. ‘We are trying to discuss and work with a medical orthopaedics doctor and I think we can report the new clinical data in the near future,’ reveals Chang.

Story first appeared in Chemistry World November 2014, written by Thadchajini Retneswaran.

Hye Sun Lee and Jeong Ho Chang’s article entitled ‘Antimicrobial spine-bone cement with caffeic acid phenethyl ester for controlled release formulation and in vivo biological assessments‘ featured on the cover of issue 2 of MedChemComm

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