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The holy grail of modern medicine is discovering an effective therapeutic with minimal side effects. This drug discovery PhD prepares and evaluates new heterocyclic (imino)quinone-based small molecules for the selective treatment of cancer. The research is divided into three projects:
Project 1: Incorporating the oxetane motif into heterocyclic (imino)quinone anti-tumour agents
The four-membered heterocycle, oxetane is seen as being capable of increased binding to the active site of the enzyme (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1, NQO1) over-expressed in solid-tumours.
Project 2: Protein crystallography of (imino)quinone-NQO1 complex
Drug iminoquinone-enzyme active site (NQO1) interactions have been evidenced through computational docking, and we now propose to isolate this complex.
Project 3: New nitric oxide (NO)-releasing anti-tumour agents for photodynamic therapy
We wish to prepare and evaluate new molecules that release NO at room temperature using visible light.
A native of County Sligo, Ireland, I obtained BSc(Hons, 1.1) in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry (BPC) at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) in 2016. After achieving overall first position in the BPC class, I was awarded a competitive College of Science PhD Scholarship at NUI Galway. My PhD is in the synthesis and evaluation of heterocyclic small molecule anti-cancer agents. In 2017, I accepted the offer to transfer my PhD to a fully-funded scholarship at Kingston University under the supervision of Prof Fawaz Aldabbagh.