Molecular medicine: from genes to structures to drugs

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May 26, 2015
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM


Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

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0116 252 2320

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Professor Richard Bayliss

Department of Biochemistry

Lecture Summary

In the 20th century there was a revolution in our understanding of life at the molecular level. The double-helix structure of DNA was revealed, the genetic code was deciphered and the molecular structures of proteins that carry out essential reactions in the body were determined. We now understand that diseases such as cancer are caused by malfunctions of one or more of the thousands of different types of protein molecules from which the human body is made.

Modern approaches to drug discovery harness our knowledge of the molecular and genetic basis of disease to develop novel precision drugs that target cancer proteins specifically. Molecular analysis enables doctors to identify which cancer proteins are present in each patient. Personalised medicine, in which therapy is tailored to an individual patient, is revolutionising the treatment of cancer.

My team studies the molecular structures of cancer proteins and their interactions with drugs in development. We work towards understanding the mechanisms of cancer at a molecular level. In partnership with other scientists, we develop precision drugs that are tailored to individual cancer proteins. Molecular structures help us to predict how well patients might respond to new drugs under clinical investigation. My lecture will include examples of our work in these areas: structures of cancer proteins, rational design of cancer drugs, molecular determinants of drug sensitivity and prediction of patient response.


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