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Research labs

Schofield lab

AMR drug discovery for human use

The research of our group is driven by a desire to apply chemical principles and techniques to address important biological questions.

At the IOI, our work includes the synthesis of new antibacterials and resistance-combatting molecules, studying the biosynthetic pathways of antibiotics, understanding their mode of action, and elucidating mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

For this, we use a variety of techniques, including synthetic chemistry, enzyme purification and characterisation, cloning/mutagenesis and biophysical techniques, such as X-ray crystallography, NMR, and mass spectrometry (in collaboration with Prof James McCullagh).

Human antibiotics

We are pioneering new approaches to the design of new antibiotics to be used in human medicine. We prioritise major global unmet needs that are not being addressed by other research groups or industry. For example, we are targeting the challenge of multi-drug resistant (MDR) Enterobacterales, including those resistant to carbapenem, colistin and tigecycline antibiotics.

Our approach is two-fold: we design novel compounds with minimal resistance against other classes of antibiotics; and create inhibitors to antibiotic resistant mechanisms, which can be used in combination therapies to restore the activity of existing compounds.

We have multiple ongoing research initiatives, including on:

  • new β-lactams (antibiotics related to penicillin that inhibit bacterial Penicillin Binding Proteins, or PBPs)
  • new non β-lactam inhibitors of PBPs (including boronate-based antibiotics)
  • new inhibitors of metallo β-lactamases (MBLs, which are bacterial enzymes that confer resistance against β-lactam antibiotics)
  • new ways to combat resistance to tetracyclines and related drugs (a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics unrelated to penicillin)

You can learn more about our ongoing work here.

Group members

Click here to find out the members of the Schofield lab.

Recent publications from the lab

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