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May Early Career Academics Seminar on Protein and Peptide Science

3 May 2024 13:00-14:00, United Kingdom

Please join us for the May PPSG Early Career Academic seminar series. The speakers will be Dr Sergio Dall'Angelo from University of Aberdeen and Dr Wael Houssen from the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Sergio Dall'Angelo – Advanced Research Fellow, Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen

Title: Exploring Labelling Methodologies for Peptide-Based PET Radiopharmaceutical Preparation
Abstract: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a pivotal imaging modality widely used in clinical diagnosis as well as in drug development. PET radiopharmaceuticals are bioactive molecules labelled with a positron-emitting radionuclide such as fluorine-18, gallium-68, or copper-64. The essential component of a PET tracer is the targeting moiety, engineered to exhibit high affinity and specificity towards a disease-associated biological target. Traditionally, targeting entities comprised of biologically active small molecules, for example, the most widely used PET tracer is [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG). However, in recent years there has been a shift towards the use of biologics, such as peptides, proteins, antibodies, and antibody fragments as targeting moieties.
In this presentation, I will give an overview of how our lab exploits different methodologies to prepare peptide-based radiopharmaceuticals for PET imaging. We will explore the use of readily available fluorine-18 containing small molecules (prosthetic groups) to facilitate bioconjugation via a linker. Additionally, we consider the potential of enzymatic methodologies. Eventually, we will venture into a relatively new field, the use of radiometals like Gallium-68 to prepare diagnostics and potentially theranostics compounds.

Dr Wael Houssen - Reader, University of Aberdeen

Title: Toward Developing Next-Generation Therapeutics – Targeting the Undruggable Interactome
Abstract: In this talk, I will give an overview on my research which is focussed on 1) the use of structural and chemical biology to hijack the power of biosynthetic enzymes to produce highly modified bioactive peptides; 2) the identification and sustainable production of bioactive venom peptides and derivatives thereof and 3) the computational design and synthesis of cyclic peptides that can disrupt disease-relevant protein-protein interactions. I will describe how I used the engineered biosynthetic enzymes to incorporate lipophilic side chains that bear clickable functional groups into cyclic peptides and summarise our efforts to use these tools to prepare anti-SARS-CoV-2 peptides.

If you would like to present in future seminars, please contact one of the organisers. We welcome presentations from early career UK-based academics or senior postdoctoral researchers seeking to establish an independent career in peptide and protein science.
Louis Luk:
Chris Coxon:
Louise Walport:

United Kingdom

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