"I am eager to explore all the opportunities SCI can offer and to engage with the SCI community by participating in outreach programmes and volunteering activities. "
What are your research interests?
As a PhD researcher in the predictive materials modelling group at Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (Ireland), I have been designing peptide-based therapeutics to address metabolic disorders. As a member of SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for pharmaceuticals, I am working with Prof Damien Thompson, the Director of SSPC, to develop a novel unimolecular triagonist peptide that can bind to secretin receptors belonging to the class B1 GPCR family. Our goal is to design potent pharmacologically active peptides that can manage metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.
How did you first get involved with SCI?
My interest in SCI was sparked when I had the opportunity to participate in the RSC/SCI-sponsored 8th GPCRs in Medicinal Chemistry Symposium held in Verona, Italy. I was awarded an SCI travel grant and an RSC – Medicinal Chemistry Research Poster award for the work I presented at the symposium. This experience not only broadened my knowledge in the field but also offered me a platform to network with other professionals in the field. As an ambassador, I plan to spread about the SCI’s events and activities while furthering my knowledge of the chemical and pharmaceutical sciences and expanding my professional network.
SCI aims to be ‘where science meets business’. What is the potential commercial application of your research?
The comprehensive plan of my PhD is to design bioactive peptide therapeutics as a genuine alternative to conventional small molecule therapy. We have developed a blueprint of a rationally designed unimolecular triagonist peptide that can bind to secretin receptors belonging to the class B1 GPCR family. Our unimolecular poly-agonist peptide modelling strategy has the potential to design potent pharmacologically active peptides to manage metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.
We have an ongoing modelling-experimental collaboration between SSPC and Merck, NJ that is aimed at co-agonist peptide therapeutics development. Co-agonist peptides can be used to develop new class B1 GPCR agonist drugs that have improved efficacy and fewer side effects..
What do you hope to gain from your involvement with SCI?
As an SCI ambassador, I am excited to share my enthusiasm for SCI’s multidisciplinary community and its various opportunities for professional development and recognition. SCI provides an excellent platform for networking with other professionals in the chemical sciences field, and it offers various awards and honours to recognise significant contributions. I am eager to explore all the opportunities SCI can offer and to engage with the SCI community by participating in outreach programmes and volunteering activities.
My research is an excellent example of the multidisciplinary nature of the chemical sciences, and I believe that my diverse background will be an asset as an SCI ambassador. I am grateful to SCI for allowing me to represent this distinguished society as an ambassador.
University of Limerick/SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, Limerick, Ireland