20 Aug 2015
For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.
Since 1985 over 65 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past eight years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed nearly £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.
Daniel Mould was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2014. At the end of their first year, SCI Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what Daniel has done in his first year as an SCI Scholar.
‘I was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2014 when I was in the first year of my PhD studies in the Drug Discovery group at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, part of the University of Manchester. I was delighted to receive this award and to continue my involvement with SCI.
‘In December 2014 we had a College of Scholars’ lunch at SCI’s headquarters, where I enjoyed meeting the other Scholars and Society members, finding out what previous Scholars had done next, and seeing the range of research that the Society supports.
‘My research revolves around discovering reversible small molecule inhibitors of an epigenetic regulator protein lysine specific demethylase 1. LSD1 remains a challenging target to inhibit with a reversible small molecule; however we have made significant progress towards understanding what features of our compounds are required for effective inhibition. Through chemical synthesis of over 300 final compounds, we have explored how altering various positions on the scaffold affects its affinity for the target protein to generate a structure-activity relationship. Coupled with this, we have achieved a ~100-fold improvement in potency from the initial hit in biochemical assays. Currently, we are looking to optimise the biophysical properties of these compounds to improve their cellular permeability and metabolic stability. In September I will be presenting a poster disclosing our leading series of reversible LSD1 inhibitors at the SCI/RSC Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in Cambridge. SCI have been kind enough to fund my travel and accommodation for this event. In addition, I will be presenting my work at the Young Chemist in Industry symposium, organised by SCI’s Young Chemists’ Panel.
‘In the final two years of my PhD we hope to work towards getting a crystal structure of a reversible inhibitor bound to LSD1, an achievement that would really help us accelerate development of compounds with superior activity. We have also supplied compounds to a biotechnology company in Sweden for biophysical analysis of their binding kinetics. Additionally, there are further series of structurally distinct compounds remaining from the initial high-throughput screen to optimise.
‘Overall, my first year as an SCI Scholar has proven to be extremely productive, and I’m looking forward to the chance to share my research at conferences organised by SCI in the coming year, as well as at international conferences. I’d like to thank SCI for their continued support and the opportunities they’ve provided me.’
Daniel Mould, SCI Scholar 2014-2016