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We propose to explore KISS1R as a therapeutic target to restore drug sensitivity in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC patients lack targeted therapies as they fail to respond to endocrine and anti-HER2 therapy. KISS1R, also known as the G-protein coupled kisspeptin receptor, promotes drug resistance in TNBC cells. This signalling works by increasing the expression of transporter BRCP (breast cancer resistance protein). The KISS1 gene, KISS1R mRNA and KISS1R protein are upregulated in TNBC tumours vs. normal breast tissue.
The goal would be to discover novel small molecules KISS1R antagonists that would pave the way for agents that restore drug sensitivity to TNBC patients.
I obtained my first-class undergraduate degree, with honours, in chemistry at Kingston University London (KU). Over the course of my degree, I undertook a role as an academic mentor before taking on an internship supervised by Dr Stephen Wren (investigating the design and synthesis of squaric acid motifs). My final year thesis, also under the supervision of Dr Stephen Wren, explored the preparation of novel thiazolidinedione building blocks as carboxylic acid bioisosteres. I was awarded the best project in the department prize for such work. My research on thiazolidinediones also led to a preliminary communication in Future Medicinal Chemistry. Following graduation, I was employed by KU as a Teaching Laboratory Assistant. At present, I am designing and synthesising novel therapeutics targeted at triple negative breast cancer. Updates on my research can be found at @WrenGroupChem.
Scanlon, James J. and Wren, Stephen (2020) Unearthing novel thiazolidinone building blocks as carboxylic acid bioisosteres. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 12(20), pp. 1855-1864. ISSN (print) 1756-8919.