Samantha Cheung Featured by the Sydney Alumni Magazine
26 March 2012
Samantha Cheung, a PhD student with Nicholas Coleman has been featured by the the Sydney Alumni Magazine. The feature focuses on her work funded by the Selby Research Award.
Quoting from the article:
Samantha Cheung has been able to put the Faculty of Science's 2011 Selby Research Award to good use as she carries out her PhD. Thanks to the $14,000 award, she is hoping to genetically engineer a bacterial enzyme that can produce epoxides (a type of chemical compound) for the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries. She aims to make epoxides available to be produced on a large scale for drugs such as Indinavir, which is used to treat HIV.
"If we can provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly method for producing these compounds, then ideally we can make the drugs more accessible to people who need them," says Samantha, who is working with Dr Nick Coleman in the School of Molecular Bioscience. She adds that making pharmaceuticals using biologically produced enzymes, or biocatalysts, is far safer than using man-made chemicals.
"There are some wonderful examples of biocatalysts that have been integrated into industry, such as in the production of beta-lactam antibiotics, where they have overtaken chemical production, but these are isolated examples," says Samantha. "The holy grail would be to create a whole library of biocatalysts capable of catalysing any chemical reaction."The article can be read in full here