Research Strand Chemical Biology
Chemical biology to develop probes and tools to understand and manipulate biology
Creating a strong Chemical Biology group was a major part of the strategy when establishing the LISCB Institute. The goal was not only to leverage the power of chemistry to develop probes and tools to explore biological systems, but also to culture a “chemical view” of the biology that would address questions that would otherwise be neglected. For example, we are investigating the biological role of formaldehyde, a natural but neglected product of several important biological reactions in cells (Hopkinson). We are also asking whether chemical probes that stabilise proteins and protein:protein interactions may be an alternative approach to targeting biological systems (Doveston). Taking a chemical approach to understanding biology has led to new insights into Heme as a regulator of ion channels and also to details of enzyme mechanisms (Ash, Hudson and Moody).