Discovery of novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of Tuberculosis

University of Warwick

Timur will design and synthesise small molecule drugs to improve Tuberculosis treatment. According to the World Health Organisation, Tuberculosis is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 1.8 million deaths in 2015. Current treatments are complex, involving multiple antibiotics that must be taken in combination daily over many months, often under the supervision of a carer or medical personnel.

If the project is successful, the new drug will be combined with current Tuberculosis treatments to enhance efficacy, reduce antibiotic resistance, and cut down duration and relapse rates. It will be the first of its kind to target the protein MptpB, secreted by the Tuberculosis pathogen, which suppresses the immune response and helps the bacteria to survive. By removing MptpB, the Tuberculosis pathogen will be more vulnerable to antibiotics that are used to treat the infection.

Timur Avkiran graduated with an MChem in Chemistry from Durham University in 2015. His desire to develop a research career in medicinal chemistry led him to join LifeArc (the new name for MRC Technology), a medical research charity that helps scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients, in 2015.

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