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Overview

The interfacial research area of Chemical Biology has been described in various ways; most simply, it refers to the application of chemistry to the study of molecular events in biological systems. Often this involves the use of chemical tools and our knowledge of bonding, synthesis and analysis.

Relevant Research Groups

Katherine de Villiers

Katherine de Villiers

Research Summary: Malaria parasites detoxify haem by forming crystalline haemozoin. Antimalarial inhibition of this process results in parasite death due to haem build-up. In light of growing parasitic resistance to commonly prescribed antimalarial drugs (e.g. chloroquine), our current focus is on:1. understanding their molecular mechanism of action; 2. determining their effects on haemozoin biocrystallisation. It is envisaged that such information will allow for rational design of novel antimalarial compounds. This provides an opportunity for collaborative projects with synthetic specialists.

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Prinessa Chellan

Prinessa Chellan

Research Summary: My research focuses primarily on two areas, both of which have a strong synthetic chemistry component, design and study of new bioorganometallics for infectious illnesses and development of metal complexes for efficient homogenous catalysis of synthesis of complex organic molecules under aerobic conditions. My projects are designed to be multidisciplinary, bringing together different areas of chemistry including, organic and organometallic synthesis, bio-physical chemistry and analytical chemistry.

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Margaret Blackie

Margaret Blackie

Research Summary: I run a multidisciplinary research group with interests in medicinal chemistry, chemical education and the philosophy of science, education and chemistry. The focus of medicinal chemistry is the rational design and synthesis of novel compounds as potential anti-malarial drugs and other tropical diseases. My interests in chemical education and philosophy of chemistry and education are complementary to one another. The primary endeavour is to develop curricula, tools and educational aids with a solid foundational philosophy in order to better prepare the next generation of chemists.

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