Title: On the hunt for an elusive telomerase inhibitor

Speaker:  Associate Professor Luke Hunter, UNSW

Abstract:  Only a small handful of validated telomerase inhibitors have been discovered. To address this knowledge gap, we recently conducted a high throughput screen for telomerase inhibitors. This screen identified on active sample. however, upon rigorous purification of the active sample, the telomerase inhibitory activity was lost! The true inhibitor must be a minor impurity within this commercial sample.

We are now trying to identify this elusive inhibitor. To achieve this, we are pursuing two approaches in parallel. First, we are conducting activity-guided separations of our remaining stock of the impure, active sample. Second, we are proposing and synthesising possible side products that could feasibly have arisen during commercial synthesis. By pursuing these approaches in parallel, we are progressively zeroing in on the true inhibitor.

Bio: Luke completed his PhD at The University of Sydney in 2005. He then undertook a series of postdoctoral positions at The University of Melbourne, The University of St Andrews (UK), and UNSW. In 2009, Luke's independent career commenced with the award of a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In 2011, he was appointed as a Lecturer in Chemistry at UNSW, and since he has been promoted to Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor. Luke's research interests are broadly in the areas of organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry, with a frequent focus on fluorinated target molecules.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and occasionally via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



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