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Next-generation high-throughput screening for smart drug discovery

48 months
Approved budget:
Dr Daniel Conole
Professor Michael Waring
Assistant Professor Elton Zeqiraj
Associate Professor Michael Hay
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
The discovery of new, safe and effective drugs is imperative for human health, particularly for diseases with no known treatments or therapeutic targets. Screening for new molecules that selectively modulate the function of a particular disease-causing protein is costly and laborious, and is thus a major bottleneck in drug discovery. Recently, a high-throughput compound screening method termed DNA-encoded libraries (DELs) has been developed to enable rapid and cost-effective profiling of ultra-large compound libraries. Using my multidisciplinary chemical biology expertise, I will deploy this state-of-the-art technique to speed up the discovery of novel chemical probes (and potentially drugs) for “hard to drug” but important proteins for cancer and inflammation. Ultimately, I will apply this technology to collaborate with other disease expert groups to find new chemical tools for proteins associated with diseases that are of direct importance to New Zealand and its research community, such as gout and Alzheimer’s disease.