Personal profile

Research interests

Research Expertise:  Very wide experience of synthetic organic, biological and medicinal chemistry, much of it focused in collaborations with academic life science groups and pharmaceutical industry to unravel aspects of key cellular signalling pathways and develop compounds to modulate these with a therapeutic outcome. Major projects since 2000 have included: design and synthesis of phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) inhibitors and chemokine receptor (CXCR2) antagonists for treatment of asthma, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease respectively (UK£2m industrial funding, as part of programmes of total value >UK£15m); design and synthesis of compounds to modulate stem cell development (£1m from ITI Life Sciences as part of programme of total value UK£9.5m). co-I on recently commenced multicentre programme funded by the Scottish Funding Council (2011, UK£2.5m) to develop protocols for red blood cell production from pluripotent stem cells. co-I on additional awards from UK Research Councils and NHS totaling UK£0.94m since 2000 for research on nitric oxide synthase and on programmes directed towards the discovery of natural products with antimicrobial activity against organisms responsible for nosocomial infections. Additional interests in the function of RACK1 as a scaffolding protein, GPCR signalling (free fatty acid receptor 2), RTK signalling (IGF1R), the design and synthesis of functional nitric oxide synthase mimetics and in antiviral medicinal chemistry. Experienced collaborator with academic life science groups working on cellular signalling pathways [Houslay group, Glasgow Univ, exploration of PDE4 structure and function; contributing to MRC/G0400053 (1/10/2006, 48 months, UK£1.9m) & EU FP6/037189 (1/10/2006, 36 months, €3m)] [Milligan group, Glasgow Univ, ligands for FFA2; contributing to Wellcome Trust 089600/Z/09/Z (2010, 36 months, UK£231k)]. A major current focus is on the role of RACK1 in IGF-I/adhesion-mediated signalling relevant to regulation of cytoskeleton and cell motility (analysis of interactions with partner proteins – actin, myosin, PKC, FAK etc) collaborations with (O’Connor gp, Cork;  Kiely group, Limerick;  Long gp, Trinity College Dublin;  Ron gp, UCSF).

Research interests

biological chemistry

medicinal chemistry

GPCR signalling

RTK signalling

cyclic nucleotide signalling


RACK1 scaffolding protein



nitric oxide synthase

antiviral medicinal chemistry


natural products

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • QD Chemistry


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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