''Plastic antibodies' – can we surpass Nature?'

Series Name Professorial Inaugural Lecture
Speaker Professor Sergey Piletsky from the Department of Chemistry
Type Lectures & Talks
Starts at Mar 10, 2015 05:30 PM
Ends at Mar 10, 2015 06:30 PM
Venue Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Anyone wishing to attend a lecture, whether student, staff or public, should contact inaugural@le.ac.uk.

Professor Sergey Piletsky from the Department of Chemistry will give his professorial inaugural lecture entitled ''Plastic antibodies' – can we surpass Nature?' on 10 March 2015 in Ken Edwards Building Lecture Theatre 1.

Summarising his lecture, Professor Piletsky said: "My lifetime ambition is to surpass nature in producing materials with recognition and functional properties guided by the examples provided by living systems. The focus of my 26 years of research, described in more than 270 research papers and patents, has been on molecular imprinting – a quest driven by the practical need for finding stable and generic alternatives to antibodies and natural receptors.

"Molecular imprinting is the technique of imparting molecular recognition properties in a cross-linked synthetic polymer by polymerisation in the presence of a molecular template. The resultant materials are known as molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and have applications in separations, assays, sensors and catalysis and are often referred to as “plastic antibodies”. The work of my team culminated recently in the development of an automated reactor for the synthesis of water-soluble MIP nanoparticles with pre-determined molecular recognition, sub-nanomolar affinities, defined size and surface chemistry. MIP nanoparticles have been synthesised for various targets such as small molecules, proteins, virus particles and cells and used in diagnostics, imaging and drug delivery.

"With this new development in MIP synthesis I foresee a time when natural antibodies in many applications will be challenged by “plastic antibodies” with integrated recognition, signalling and drug delivery functionalities."

Professor Sergey Piletsky began his research career in 1985 after graduation from Kiev State University with a M.Sc. in Bioorganic Chemistry. In 1991 he received Ph.D. from Kiev Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry. Since 1992 he worked on the development of sensors in world leading laboratories such as Professor Karube in Tokyo University and Professor Wolfbeis in Regensburg University. In 1998, he joined Professor Turner in Cranfield University as Senior Research Fellow. In 2002 Sergey became Professor of Bioorganic and Polymer Chemistry and Head of Cranfield Biotechnology Centre. The aim of his research is on the development of a new generation of imprinted polymers which could be used as an alternative to enzymes, antibodies and receptors in sensors and affinity separation. For his scientific achievements Sergey received a number of awards such as JSPS, DFG and Leverhulme Fellowships, the award of the President of Ukraine and Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and DSc from Cranfield University in 2014. Sergey has published more than 270 papers in the international peer-reviewed journals and patent applications (H-index- 48).

In 2013 Sergey has moved his group to the University of Leicester where he is working now as a Head of Leicester Biotechnology Group.

Professional interests:

(i) Biomimetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs); (ii) Computational design and molecular modelling; (iii) Bioanalytical chemistry - design of sensors and assays for clinical and environmental diagnostics; (iv) Nanoparticles for diagnostics and therapeutic applications.

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