At the CFBD, Jack’s research focus will involve the development of a fragment library comprising analogues of the polcyclic, caged molecule known as cubane.
The 3D spatial arrangement of substitutions at each point of the cubane scaffold may give rise to unique biological activity and, as cubane is a potential bioisostere of benzene, phenyl to cubyl substitutions offer desirable modulation of lipophilicity, toxicity and metabolism of drug candidates.
The introduction of cubane-containing molecules to the drug development pipeline may reveal unique opportunities for lead compound discovery and improve the medicinal chemist’s capacity for customisation of drug candidates.
Jack graduated with a double degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering and science, majoring in chemistry at the University of Sydney. During his studies, he completed an internship at the Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-industrielle (LCA) in Toulouse, France, working on pilot electrochemical processes for extracting lipids from microalgae to produce biofuels.
After graduation, uncertain about which path to take to fulfil his interest in chemistry and enthusiasm for problem-solving, Jack took a short break before returning to the University of Sydney to complete an Honours project in medicinal chemistry.
During his Honours year working on CNS drug discovery, Jack developed an interest in organic synthesis and learnt to appreciate “the fine balance of theory and working with your hands in a collaborative lab environment”.
“After an extremely fulfilling year of academic and personal development, a PhD was the logical next step. I aim to utilise my candidature to continue my professional development and contribute towards the medicinal chemistry field,” he says.