Mr Nathan Long

Research project: Synthesis of a toolbox of bioisosteric building blocks for drug discovery


Medicinal chemists can seek to replace the ubiquitous carboxylic acid group present in drug molecules with bioisosteres in order to optimise physiochemical properties.  Bioisosteric replacement of such group allows for the creation of new molecules with similar biological properties to the parent compound.  In this project, novel methods will be used to prepare new building blocks (featuring bioisosteres) for attachment to potential drug candidate.  Further, in silico techniques will be utilised to predict the novel compounds 'drug-likeness' towards synthetic targets.  Biological evaluation on selected generated compounds will also be performed.  Synthetic work will build upon work already conducted within the Wren group with both squaric acid and thiazolidinone scaffolds forming a basis for early work within the project. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Synthesis of a toolbox of bioisosteric building blocks for drug discovery
  • Research supervisor: Dr Stephen Wren
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Adam Le Gresley


I am a recent graduate of Queen Mary University of London with a integrated masters degree (MSci) in pharmaceutical chemistry, having undertaken my final year research project under the supervision of Dr Stellios Arseniyadis investigating new methodologies for the direct installation of difluoromethyl moiety's in organic frameworks utilising photocatalytic techniques.  Along side this, I have previously worked within the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry under supervision of Dr Lesley Howell and teams at the William Harvey Research Institute developing positive allosteric modulators as potential therapeutics in the treatment of both diabetes and arthritis.  Alongside from academic career I work in and amongst the west end theatre community as a lighting technician, having worked on large scale hit musicals including 'Wicked The Musical', 'War Horse', and 'The Phantom of the Opera'.

I am very much excited to continue my research career at Kingston University under the supervision of Dr Stephen Wren.

Areas of research interest

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Asymetric Synthesis
  • Natural Product Synthesis


  • MSci (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Queen Mary University of London