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Professor Christopher Abell FRS FMedSci

Portrait of ca26

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

Label-Free Analysis and Sorting of Microalgae and Cyanobacteria in Microdroplets by Intrinsic Chlorophyll Fluorescence for the Identification of Fast Growing Strains.
RJ Best, JJ Lyczakowski, S Abalde-Cela, Z Yu, C Abell, AG Smith
– Anal Chem
(2016)
88,
10445
Dual-responsive supramolecular colloidal microcapsules from cucurbit[8]uril molecular recognition in microfluidic droplets
Z Yu, Y Lan, RM Parker, W Zhang, X Deng, OA Scherman, C Abell
– Polymer Chemistry
(2016)
7,
5996
Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Cellulose Nanocrystals in a Confined Geometry.
RM Parker, B Frka-Petesic, G Guidetti, G Kamita, G Consani, C Abell, S Vignolini
– ACS Nano
(2016)
10,
8443
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
(2016)
11,
1924
Inhibition of Ral GTPases Using a Stapled Peptide Approach.
JC Thomas, JM Cooper, NS Clayton, C Wang, MA White, C Abell, D Owen, HR Mott
– J Biol Chem
(2016)
291,
jbc.M116.720243
Selective small molecule inhibitor of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis fumarate hydratase reveals an allosteric regulatory site
M Kasbekar, G Fischer, BT Mott, A Yasgar, M Hyvönen, HIM Boshoff, C Abell, CE Barry, CJ Thomas
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
(2016)
113,
7503
Spirooxindoles as novel 3D-fragment scaffolds: Synthesis and screening against CYP121 from M. tuberculosis.
HJ Davis, ME Kavanagh, T Balan, C Abell, AG Coyne
– Bioorg Med Chem Lett
(2016)
26,
3735
ATP half-sites in RadA and RAD51 recombinases bind nucleotides
ME Marsh, DE Scott, MT Ehebauer, C Abell, TL Blundell, M Hyvönen
– FEBS Open Bio
(2016)
6,
372
Small molecules, big targets: drug discovery faces the protein-protein interaction challenge
DE Scott, AR Bayly, C Abell, J Skidmore
– Nat Rev Drug Discov
(2016)
15,
533
Microfluidic Droplet-Facilitated Hierarchical Assembly for Dual Cargo Loading and Synergistic Delivery
Z Yu, Y Zheng, RM Parker, Y Lan, Y Wu, RJ Coulston, J Zhang, OA Scherman, C Abell
– ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
(2016)
8,
8811
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Research Group

Research Interest Group

Telephone number

01223 336405

Email address

ca26@cam.ac.uk