Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Proteins lacking deep binding pockets were once considered as undruggable, i.e. not possible to develop therapeutic agents by targeting these proteins. Recently, covalent drug has been found to be an answer to some of these undruggable proteins. Through specific covalent bond formation between covalent drug and the functional amino acid on cancer-associated protein, the covalent drug can bind strongly onto the undruggable protein with high specificity, which is important for achieving low toxic side effects to normal cells and tissues. The strong binding on functional amino acid also allows significant modulations of the protein activities, thus giving rise to promising therapeutic outcomes.
Our lab is developing new covalent drug lead compounds with excellent biostability, fast reaction kinetics with functional amino acids on cancer-associated proteins and unique chemical scaffold directing the compounds toward specific protein targets. We employ high-throughput screening and activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) experiments to identify lead compounds with strong and specific binding onto the protein target(s). Then, through biochemical assays, live-cell experiments and small animal studies, we can examine the mechanism of actions of these anticancer compounds, and this helps us to better understand structure-activity relationship of these compounds for further drug lead optimisation.
Dr CYS Chung, School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr Clive Chung is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Pathology, HKU. His research interest is in chemical biology, particularly in developing novel chemical compounds and technology to study underexplored but important redox signalling. His lab is also working on new covalent drug lead compounds for cancer therapy through specific targeting cancer-associated proteins.
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