Bio-organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemisrty, chemical biology, synthesis.
Immunoglycomics In recent years it has been recognised that carbohydrates control a vast array of cellular processes. Carbohydrates, in the form of glycoconjugates, are found at the surface of living cells and play a critical role in cellular events such as cell signalling, bacterial and viral infection, and in the recognition and metastasis of tumour cells. Yet despite this knowledge, little is known about the precise function and mode of action of most glycoconjugates.
My research interests lie in unravelling the role glyconjugates play in the human immune response through the synthesis and immunological evaluation of novel glycoconjugates and glycoconjugate probes. To this end I have collaborated with a number of leading immunologists at the School of Biological Sciences and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, and in conjunction with Dr B. Stocker, formulated a unique Immunglycomics Platform which functions at the interface of synthetic organic chemistry and immunology. Projects developed within this platform include investigating the role of glycolipids in cancer immunotherapy, the use of glycoconjugate probes to unravel the causes of asthma, and the properties of mycobacterial glycolipids and how they correlate to the immune evasive nature of M. tuberculosis.