The CAPSTONE consortium aims to develop small molecules that modulate presentation of tumour and self-antigens, as a novel immunotherapeutic approach.
These molecules will target several aminopeptidases (ERAP and IRAP) that play a key role in peptide presentation by MHC class I molecules.
The consortium will work to deepen our understanding of the cellular pathways implicating the enzymes, decipher enzyme dysfunction in diseases, and design and validate innovative selective therapeutic drugs.
CAPSTONE will be a transdisciplinary state-of-the-art environment to train 15 Early-Stage Researchers. The consortium brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers in medicinal chemistry, crystallography, cell biology, biomedicine, mass spectrometry, systems biology and bioinformatics, implicating academic institutions, industry and patient associations.
CAPSTONE will prepare the ESRs for career perspectives in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology SMEs, and provide them with scientific and transferable skills and high-value professional connections
The modulation of antigen processing mediated by ERAPs / IRAP relies on the development of chemical tools that will be able to potently and selectively target these enzymes.
Such tools may provide enormous possibilities in the study of pathophysiology of ERAPs / IRAP and serve as valuable leads for the discovery of drug-like molecules for therapeutic applications.
Phosphinic pseudopeptides constitute a class of compounds that act as transition-state analogue inhibitors of Zn-metalloproteases.
This project involves the development (synthesis, purification and characterization) of phosphinic pseudopeptidic inhibitors of ERAPs / IRAP by using combinatorial and late-stage diversification techniques in order to identify crucial structure-activity relationships that will reveal unknown selectivity patterns.
In addition, activity-based probes of different technologies will be synthesized and evaluated, based on the molecular scaffold of known inhibitors as well as new, selective inhibitors that will be identified during the project.
Supervisor : Prof. Dimitris Georgiadis
Please apply through CAPSTONE website, selecting ESR#11
Required Research Experiences
Skills / Qualifications
Master Degree in Organic Chemistry or Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry
Excellent training In Synthetic Organic Chemistry and / or Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry.
Strong experience in Organic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques
Strong motivation to work hard for a PhD degree. High interest for research, beyond the limits of organic chemistry (biochemistry, biology, medicine).
Ability to work individually as well as integrate in international environment
Creativity, problem-solving skills, ability to adjust in different research environments.
Teamwork spirit and good communication skills