An ongoing theme of our synthetic research is the application of organic chemistry in virology. Interests in this area range from the synthesis of antiviral molecules (natural and unnatural, for example the Schisandra natural products) to the development of new molecular probes which specifically target intraviral interactions..
The latter project is carried out in collaboration with two virology research groups: Dr Emma Anderson (University of Warwick) and Prof. Andrew Lever (University of Cambridge). In this work, we are looking at the inhibition of virus-specific interactions which, by their nature, would represent a process that is difficult for the virus to overcome through mutation. We expect that our work in the field of HIV research might also be extended to other (RNA) viruses.
We are also working on a related project with Dr. Janet Lovett (University of Edinburgh) and Prof. David Evans (University of Warwick) on the synthesis of modified nucleotides that are suitably fuctionalised for use in EPR spectroscopy.