Dr Richard Foster
- Job title: Associate Professor, Group Leader of Medicinal Chemistry
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44(0)113 343 5759
- Faculty: Engineering and Physical Sciences
- School: Chemistry
- Location: 1.18, Chemistry
- Areas of expertise: medicinal chemistry; drug design; synthetic organic chemistry; chemical biology
- Website links: ORCID
Our group undertakes research in medicinal chemistry, synthetic chemistry and chemical biology. Our group is highly multidisciplinary, with researchers working on chemical synthesis, computer-aided drug design, assay design and screening, on in vitro and in vivo systems, often undertaking work in collaboration with labs at University of Leeds, with industry and groups at universities across the UK. The underlying focus of our research is small molecule drug discovery. Here we are interested in the identification and optimisation of small molecule modulators for a wide-range of target classes to support both the understanding of biological mechanism (pharmacological tool compounds) and as potential starting points for future drug discovery (hits and leads). We make use of a number of tools and technologies to support our research, including virtual drug design, high-throughput screening, fragment-based design as well as chemical proteomic approaches to manipulate and label proteins.
Current major projects
- Design and synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of the coagulation pathway for treatment of thrombosis and bleeding disorders
- Identification of inhibitors of the AuroraA/MYC interaction for treatment of various cancers
- Fragment-based design of antagonists of calcium-dependent ion channels
- Development of small molecule agonists of the apelin receptor for treatment of cardiovascular disease
Detailed research programme
Design and synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of the coagulation pathway for treatment of thrombosis and bleeding disorders
As part of a major drug development programme we are optimising inhibitors of the blood coagulation enzyme FXIIa for the treatment of thrombosis with minimal bleeding risk. The project is being supported by Innovate UK and venture capital funds.
Identification of inhibitors of the AuroraA/MYC interaction for treatment of various cancers
We are identifying inhibitors of the AuroraA/MYC interaction using starting points identified from fragment-based screening (crystallography). Our current work involves optimisation of the fragments by synthetic organic chemistry. The project is run in collaboration with Richard Bayliss.
Development of agonists of the apelin receptor
We are developing small molecule agonists of the apelin receptor for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Agonists of high binding affinity and functional receptor bias have been identified and are currently being optimised for binding affinity, selectivity and pharmacokinetic properties