My research interests are to develop new chemical tools and drugs with which to probe cell-signalling mechanisms and physiology. We use a broad range of techniques ranging from traditional biochemistry, computer-based screening and phenotypic screens. Drug repurposing is often a favourite pastime for members of the lab. Some of our interests include:
1) Identifying novel small molecular modulators of circadian rhythms: Circadian rhythms are ubiquitous 24-h rhythms in behaviour and physiology, regulated by a molecular clock. Our phenotypic screens have identified a range of novel signalling targets through which drugs can modulate the clock and we are evaluating these in cellular and animal models with a view to translate to clinical application in collaboration with the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, Oxford.
2) Investigating the role of calcium signalling second messengers in circadian rhythms and vice versa.
3) Understanding signalling mechanisms underlying pathophysiology of bipolar disease: Bipolar disease is a complex psychiatric illness for which the underlying pathophysiology is poorly understood. Our current studies use patient-based fibroblasts to further study altered signalling in bipolar disease.
4) Developing transcription factor modulators: We have used computer-based screens to identify molecules that act as transcription factor modulators and are currently evaluating a range of these in cellular models