Archive for the ‘Board News’ Category

Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor Maria Duca

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Maria Duca will be joining RSC Medicinal Chemistry as an Associate Editor from the 1st June.

 

About Maria:

Maria Duca completed her undergraduate studies in Pharmacy and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bologna, Italy, in the Faculty of Pharmacy. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. Paola B. Arimondo at the National Natural History Museum in Paris, France, working on topoisomerase II inhibitors. A 2-year post-doctoral training in Sydney Hecht’s lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia, USA, allowed her to pursue the study of nucleic acids working on targeted protein mutagenesis upon chemical modification of tRNAs.

Maria is now head of the Targeting of Nucleic Acids research group in the Institute of Chemistry of Nice (Université Côte d’Azur – CNRS), after CNRS recruitment as a Research Scientist in 2007. Her research activities focus on the targeting of non-coding RNAs using synthetic small molecules toward innovative therapeutic approaches for anticancer, antiviral and antimicrobial applications.

 

Submit your research to Maria from 1st June 2021!

 

You can find out about all our Associate Editors and the full Editorial Board on our webpage.


Check out a selection of Maria’s recent publications with the RSC:

Synthetic small-molecule RNA ligands: future prospects as therapeutic agents

A. Di Giorgio and M. Duca*

Med. Chem. Commun., 2019, 10, 1242-1255

Functionalized C-nucleosides as remarkable RNA binders: targeting of prokaryotic ribosomal A-site RNA
Jean-Patrick Joly, Marc Gaysinski, Lorena Zara, Maria Duca* and Rachid Benhida*
Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 10432-10435

Building of neomycin–nucleobase–amino acid conjugates for the inhibition of oncogenic miRNAs biogenesis
Duc Duy Vo, Cécile Becquart, Thi Phuong Anh Tran, Audrey Di Giorgio, Fabien Darfeuille, Cathy Staedel and  Maria Duca*
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2018, 16, 6262-6274

 

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An interview with Associate Editor Professor Yonghui Zhang

We were delighted to welcome to the team Professor Younghui Zhang as an Associate Editor for RSC Medicinal Chemistry earlier this year, and we wanted to find out more about him and his research experiences. Read our interview with Yonghui below.


What attracted you to pursue a career in medicinal chemistry and how did you get to where you are now?
A career in medicinal chemistry integrates my training background in both chemical biology (postdoctoral position) and organic chemistry (Ph. D). I therefore chose to join the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tsinghua University in 2013 as a Professor.

Why did you choose to specialize in your specific research field?
Over the past 10 years, I have come to realize the indispensable role of lipid metabolism in immune regulation. However, the underlying mechanism is obscure and there are few translational efforts. This led to my group starting to identify drug targets in lipid biosynthesis that could help to develop new immunotherapies, as well as other medicinal chemistry efforts in this area.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing researchers who work in your field?
A lack of feasible drug targets.

What is the most exciting research paper that you have read recently?
A paper from 11 years ago. It brought up hope to fight KRAS. (K-Ras(G12C)inhibitors allosterically control GTP affinity and effector interactions. Nature, 2013, 503, 548–551.)

Which of your publications are you most proud of? Which is your favourite piece of your own research?
A paper in Cell, 2018, and a paper in Immunity, 2019. These are my favourite pieces of research that demonstrate the roles of isoprenoids in immune regulation.

What is your biggest passion outside of science?
Reading and food.

What career would you have chosen if you had not taken this career path?
A writer. I would like to interpret lives in my own way.

What do you see as the most important scientific achievement of the last decade?
Immunotherapies. Now people can finally realize the power of the immune system and how it can be exploited to fight diseases.

Why should young people study chemistry, and what advice would you give anyone thinking of pursuing chemistry?
Young people should study chemistry because it is so important, and it dominates our lives.  Also, one must persist to understand the beauty of chemistry.

What are you most looking forward to in your new Associate Editor role?
Bringing more innovative research to publication.

Photo of Yonghui Zhang

About Yonghui:

Yonghui Zhang received his Ph.D in Chemistry in 2002 from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and pursued his postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Dr. Zhang is now a Professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University, a leader of higher education and academic research in China. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

He has pioneered in discovering and characterizing the relationship between lipid metabolism and immune regulation. By using a multidisciplinary approach involving structural biology, molecular immunology, cell and mice models, and medicinal chemistry, he demonstrated that the mevalonate pathway is a druggable target for vaccine adjuvants and developed lipophilic bisphosphonates and statins as Th-1 vaccine adjuvants. Currently, his lab is developing and applying innovative chemical approaches to a variety of immuno-modulatory process, with a focus on vaccination, allogeneic immune cell therapy and new anti-infection strategy. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

In addition to his academic work, through Unicet, a biotech start-up he co-founded, he is also moving forward in the newly emerging space of gamma delta T cell based therapeutics to translate his research work into innovative medicine and building proprietary biotech platforms centered around gamma delta T cells as the cell therapeutic vehicle and butyrophilin-targeting therapeutics.

 

Submit your research to Yonghui now!

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Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board member Paola Castaldi

Photo of Paola Castaldi

                   Dr Paola Castaldi

We are delighted to announce that Dr Paola Castaldi has joined the RSC Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Board.

Paola Castaldi is an experienced and passionate chemical biologist with experience in leading multidisciplinary teams supporting programs across several therapeutic areas and stages. Her drive towards embedding state-of-the-art technologies to drug discovery and development, resulted in several contributions to target identification, mechanism of action and safety deconvolution of therapeutics.

Paola completed her undergraduate studies in pharmaceutical chemistry and received her Laurea (MSc) at University of Padova, Italy. She then went on to conduct graduate research studies at Imperial College London, UK and postdoctoral studies at UCSD and Boston University.

Before joining LifeMine Therapeutics, Paola headed the Chemical Biology & Proteomics department at AstraZeneca. Over the years Paola was responsible for the build of a state-of-the-art chemical biology and mass spectrometry hub with global impact across all therapeutic areas and platforms. Notably she played a critical role to the establishment of the protein degradation and the multiomics initiatives.

Between other responsibilities, Paola is part of the SAB for the Chemical Biology Doctorate Program at Imperial College London and has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed articles.

You can find out more about the full Editorial Board on our webpage.


Paola’s publication with RSC:

Applications of chiral C3-symmetric molecules
Susan E. Gibson and M. Paola Castaldi
Chem. Commun., 2006, 3045-3062

 

 

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Introducing RSC Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor Yonghui Zhang

We are delighted to announce that Professor Yonghui Zhang has joined RSC Medicinal Chemistry as an Associate Editor.

Photo of Yonghui Zhang

Yonghui Zhang received his Ph.D in Chemistry in 2002 from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and pursued his postdoctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. Dr. Zhang is now a Professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University, a leader of higher education and academic research in China. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

He has pioneered in discovering and characterizing the relationship between lipid metabolism and immune regulation. By using a multidisciplinary approach involving structural biology, molecular immunology, cell and mice models, and medicinal chemistry, he demonstrated that the mevalonate pathway is a druggable target for vaccine adjuvants and developed lipophilic bisphosphonates and statins as Th-1 vaccine adjuvants. Currently, his lab is developing and applying innovative chemical approaches to a variety of immuno-modulatory process, with a focus on vaccination, allogeneic immune cell therapy and new anti-infection strategy. Dr. Zhang has published over 60 papers in the field of medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology and immunology.

In addition to his academic work, through Unicet, a biotech start-up he co-founded, he is also moving forward in the newly emerging space of gamma delta T cell based therapeutics to translate his research work into innovative medicine and building proprietary biotech platforms centered around gamma delta T cells as the cell therapeutic vehicle and butyrophilin-targeting therapeutics.

Yonghui said about joining as Associate Editor: ‘It is my great honor to join RSC Medicinal Chemistry. I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve this wonderful community of my fellow professionals devoting their efforts in medicinal chemistry and I will do my best to contribute to the efficient communications among the contributors and readers of the journal.’

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Introducing MedChemComm Associate Editor Sally-Ann Poulsen

Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen

 

We are delighted to welcome to the team Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen, new MedChemComm Associate Editor.

 

Professor Poulsen’s research focuses on the development of new chemical probes, medicinal chemistry targeting cancer and infectious disease, and on fragment screening using native state mass spectrometry. You can find out more on her webpage.

 

Sally-Ann received her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Griffith University, before undertaking a Royal Society & National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Howard Florey Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. On returning to Australia, she was awarded an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship, followed by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, and is now Professor of Chemical Biology and acting Deputy Director at Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

 

Professor Poulsen is also a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) (2017), Chair elect of the RACI Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology Division and is a global council member of the International Chemical Biology Society.

 

Upon joining the MedChemComm team, Poulsen commented,

“I value research integrity and am truly excited to have an opportunity to help MedChemComm to share the wonderful science that is generated by the global medicinal chemistry community.”

 

Submit your research to Sally-Ann now!

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MedChemComm welcomes Professor Jayanta Haldar to the Editorial Board

We are delighted to welcome to the team Professor Jayanta Haldar of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India.

Jayanta studied at Presidency College, University of Calcutta before moving to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for an M.Sc. and Ph.D.. In 2004, he took up a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA with Alexander Klibanov. Subsequently, Jayanta returned to India to take up an Assistant Professor position at JNCASR, his current faculty, where he was made Associate Professor in 2015.

Professor Haldar’s group specializes in the development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics, coatings and surfaces, alongside novel nano-delivery systems for drugs. To find out more about his research, take a look at the group webpage, or read a few of his many publications:

 

Selectively targeting bacteria by tuning the molecular design of membrane-active peptidomimetic amphiphiles

Chem. Commun., 2018,54, 4943-4946, DOI: 10.1039/C8CC01926F

 

L-Lysine based lipidated biphenyls as agents with anti-biofilm and anti-inflammatory properties that also inhibit intracellular bacteria

Chem. Commun., 2017,53, 8427-8430, DOI: 10.1039/C7CC04206J

 

A review on cell wall synthesis inhibitors with an emphasis on glycopeptide antibiotics

Med. Chem. Commun., 2017,8, 516-533, DOI: 10.1039/C6MD00585C

 

Aryl-alkyl-lysines: small molecular membrane-active antiplasmodial agents

Med. Chem. Commun., 2017,8, 434-439, DOI: 10.1039/C6MD00589F

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Introducing new MedChemComm Editor-in-Chief, Professor Gerhard Ecker

MedChemComm Editor-in-Chief Gerhard Ecker

MedChemComm is very excited to welcome to the team our new Editor-in-Chief, Professor Gerhard Ecker. Prof. Ecker is the current head of the Pharmacoinformatics Research Group in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Vienna. His research interests include ligand- and structure-based drug design, focusing on transmembrane transport proteins and the prediction of on- and off-kinetics, as well as semantic data integration.

He completed his PhD at the University of Vienna under the supervision of Professor Fleischhacker and Professor Noe before taking a post-doctoral position with Professor Seydel’s group in Borstel, Germany.

Gerhard has previously held positions as President of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and vice-president of the Austrian Pharmaceutical Society.

 

He has published over 100 full papers, including:

Probing the stereoselectivity of P-glycoprotein-synthesis, biological activity and ligand docking studies of a set of enantiopure benzopyrano[3,4-b][1,4]oxazines
Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 2586-2588

Open PHACTS computational protocols for in silico target validation of cellular phenotypic screens: knowing the knowns
Med. Chem. Commun., 2016, 7, 1237-1244

From linked open data to molecular interaction: studying selectivity trends for ligands of the human serotonin and dopamine transporter
Med. Chem. Commun., 2016, 7, 1819-1831

 

For more information, visit his lab group website.

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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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