Professor Andrew Munro
3.026 John Garside Building|131 Princess Street|Manchester|M1 7DN
Research in my laboratory focuses on enzymes (nature's catalysts) relevant to human health/biotechnology. Current projects include human enzymes involved in apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death by which an organism develops normally - but which also fails to function normally in cancers) and in microRNA synthesis (microRNAs are novel molecules pivotal for regulating protein synthesis, and implicated in several human diseases). This research aims to understand the structure and function of target enzymes in order to enable therapeutic strategies. Another major programme of research relates to characterization of drug target enzymes in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (which causes TB). We are investigating several enzymes involved in e.g. use of host cholesterol for bacterial survival in infected patients, and in reactions crucial to the synthesis of the bacterial membrane. Work aims to understand target enzyme structure and to develop novel drugs to inhibit them – with multidrug resistant TB now a “global emergency” (World Health Organization). Other biotechnologically orientated research exploits enzymes termed cytochromes P450 (P450s) to generate high value chemicals, using the exquisite ability of P450s to insert oxygen atoms at precise positions in relevant molecules. Research is supported by both UK research council and industrial sponsors.
PhD projects available
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