Emma Woodcock

Vesicles to build chemical libraries (template driven synthesis)

Emma Woodcock - 2nd year PhD


Protein template driven active compound synthesis has the potential to revolutionise the development of drugs that target protein interactions. However, significant barriers remain to the wide application of this approach, particularly due to the large quantities of protein target required for traditional screening techniques. Vesicles and lipid coated droplets offer a unique platform for carrying out compartmentalized synthesis on the femtolitre scale. Their small size has the potential to offer enormous advantages over traditional plate based systems, particularly when investigating scarce reactants or substrates. Sequential reactions can be triggered by fusing vesicles containing different species, however, tracking the ‘mixing history’ of such vesicles is crucially important, particularly in high throughput or stochastic combination applications.

We plan to use DNA barcoding techniques to track the sequential combination history of bio-active chemical building blocks and a protein template in micron scale vesicles with an integrated screening system for active compound sequences. This technology will facilitate membrane protein template driven synthesis and pave the way for small scale, high throughput synthesis of targeted chemical libraries in multi-compartmentalised vesicle systems.