Ashley is currently completing his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, fragment-based drug design. As part of his candidature and as a member of the Centre for Fragment-Based Design, Ashley will undertake an industry placement in England, attend international conferences and produce high quality data and research for publication.
“I decided to do a PhD to further my skill and knowledge base. Research is also really fun and having a PhD opens a number of doors and career pathways,” says Ashley.
Ashley’s research focus is on developing novel treatments for the Dengue virus by targeting its viral polymerase. Inhibition of this target should effectively prevent viral replication thereby shortening the length of the disease and lessening the severity of its symptoms. These drugs could also be used as preventatives in times of a viral outbreak.
Recently he has looked at crystallisation and structure solution of a novel protein sequences of dengue polymerase in an effort to generate key structural information about the binding mode of key fragments.
With a keen interest in high school chemistry, Ashley choose a degree that centred on this. Completing an undergraduate degree in pharmacy and pharmaceutical science with a major in medicinal chemistry, Ashley went on to do his Honors year in medicinal chemistry where he worked on primary fragment screening and validation against dengue polymerase.