A prestigious Chair position will enable Imperial’s Professor Ed Tate to make further advances in chemical biology and drug discovery.
Global biopharma GSK’s legacy company, Glaxo, first founded the Chair with a £1m endowment to the Department of Chemistry at Imperial in 1992, with the establishment of Professor Tony Barrett as the Glaxo Professor of Organic Chemistry.
The new Chair in Chemical Biology continues this legacy, supporting Professor Tate’s world-leading work in this field at the Department of Chemistry and the Francis Crick Institute. The funding which the endowment provides will be used to foster new talent, enable new research directions, and strengthen industry relationships.
The GSK Chair will supercharge world-leading chemical biology research in the Department of Chemistry
Professor Tate’s group invents new ways to explore and understand biology through inventing novel chemical tools. By creating specifically designed functional molecules, the researchers aim to ask new questions about living systems, and ultimately manipulate them – an approach that can uncover new ways to cure disease.
The work includes creating chemical tags that can monitor how diseases develop and understand how resistance to older drugs emerges, and how these drugs could be redesigned to overcome resistance. The team also tackles diseases, for example by targeting a protein in human cells that viruses like the common cold use to invade and developing several small molecules to treat everything from antibiotic-resistant infections to treatment-resistant cancers.
The latter work led to Professor Tate and Dr Robert Solari co-founding a spinout, Myricx Pharma, to develop drugs that could offer a safer and more effective way to treat certain drug-resistant cancers.