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Professor Christopher Abell FRS FMedSci

One of the biggest challenges in biological chemistry is the design of small molecules that interact selectively with macromolecules. We are pioneering the development of the use of fragments to address this challenge. This approach involves close synergistic interaction between synthetic organic chemistry, biophysics and structural biology. We are using fragment-based methods to identify inhibitors of enzymes from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and to develop small molecules that modulate protein-protein interactions. We are also keen to explore new applications for fragments e.g. to identify molecules that modulate the activity of riboswitches, and to assign function to orphan proteins.

Our second major area of research is to develop the use of microdroplets in microfluidics as a novel experimental platform for biological chemistry. This research is highly interdisciplinary and involves biological chemistry, microfluidics, nanofabrication, laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. We are particularly interested in looking at cells in droplets, e.g. bacteria to study quorum sensing, algae for bio-fuel development.

 

For a full list of publications, see http://www-abell.ch.cam.ac.uk/publication.html

Publications

Fragment-Sized EthR Inhibitors Exhibit Exceptionally Strong Ethionamide Boosting Effect in Whole-Cell Mycobacterium tuberculosis Assays
PO Nikiforov, M Blaszczyk, S Surade, HI Boshoff, A Sajid, V Delorme, N Deboosere, P Brodin, AR Baulard, CE Barry, TL Blundell, C Abell
– ACS Chem Biol
(2017)
12,
1390
The biochemical properties of the two Arabidopsis thaliana isochorismate synthases.
KM Macaulay, GA Heath, A Ciulli, AM Murphy, C Abell, JP Carr, AG Smith
– Biochem J
(2017)
474,
1579
Tough Supramolecular Polymer Networks with Extreme Stretchability and Fast Room-Temperature Self-Healing
J Liu, CSY Tan, Z Yu, N Li, C Abell, OA Scherman
– Adv Mater
(2017)
29,
1605325
Biomimetic Supramolecular Polymer Networks Exhibiting both Toughness and Self-Recovery
J Liu, CSY Tan, Z Yu, Y Lan, C Abell, OA Scherman
– Adv Mater
(2017)
29,
1604951
Surface mediated cooperative interactions of drugs enhance mechanical forces for antibiotic action
JW Ndieyira, J Bailey, SB Patil, M Vögtli, MA Cooper, C Abell, RA McKendry, G Aeppli
– Scientific reports
(2017)
7,
41206
Structural Characterization and Ligand/Inhibitor Identification Provide Functional Insights into the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cytochrome P450 CYP126A1.
JT Chenge, LV Duyet, S Swami, KJ McLean, ME Kavanagh, AG Coyne, SEJ Rigby, MR Cheesman, HM Girvan, CW Levy, B Rupp, JP von Kries, C Abell, D Leys, AW Munro
– J Biol Chem
(2017)
292,
1310
Fragment Profiling Approach to Inhibitors of the Orphan M. tuberculosis P450 CYP144A1
ME Kavanagh, J Chenge, A Zoufir, KJ McLean, AG Coyne, A Bender, AW Munro, C Abell
– Biochemistry
(2017)
56,
1559
Corrigendum: Substrate Fragmentation for the Design of M. tuberculosis CYP121 Inhibitors.
ME Kavanagh, JL Gray, SH Gilbert, AG Coyne, KJ McLean, HJ Davis, AW Munro, C Abell
– ChemMedChem
(2017)
12,
194
Cucurbit[n]uril-Based Microcapsules Self-Assembled within Microfluidic Droplets: A Versatile Approach for Supramolecular Architectures and Materials.
J Liu, Y Lan, Z Yu, CSY Tan, RM Parker, C Abell, OA Scherman
– Accounts of Chemical Research
(2017)
50,
208
Aqueous interfacial gels assembled from small molecule supramolecular polymers
AS Groombridge, A Palma, RM Parker, C Abell, OA Scherman
– Chem. Sci.
(2017)
8,
1350
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336405

Email address

ca26@cam.ac.uk