We develop chemical tools and methods to explore complex biology, in collaboration with Crick research groups. The chemical approaches developed in the Chemical Biology facility are used to reveal the function of a given biological system and how it can be changed by chemical modulators. These insights can accelerate the translation of the Crick’s research into clinical impact.
We have expertise in the design, synthesis and characterisation of the mechanism of biological action of a range of chemical modalities, including small molecule modulators, degraders and protein-small molecule conjugates. We also provide access to linear and cyclic peptides, especially those with more complicated modifications, as well as to peptide arrays.
We apply this expertise to explore systems of interest, using either target-centric or phenotype-centric strategies. With a target-based approach, we would aim to identify or develop chemical tools to characterise and modulate the function of a specific protein or other biomolecule. Alternatively, adoption of a phenotype-centric approach uses chemical tools to explore the drivers of a phenotype of interest and to identify potential protein targets for phenotypic perturbation.
Irrespective of the strategy taken, we see the use of well characterised chemical tools as critical for exploring compound pharmacology in a cellular environment and, if desired, in a whole organism. In addition to developing and validating such chemical tools within the group, we also provide training to Crick scientists on the selection and use of chemical probes and consultancy on their application in biological systems.