Our research involves a mix of organic chemistry, synthetic biology and protein engineering.
Two primary areas of research in our group are:
We are investigating the chemical and biological modification of encapsulins, bacterial proteins that spontaneously assemble into hollow ~30 nm shells (Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 1311). A unique feature of encapsulins is their ability to house other molecules via a simple and engineerable packaging process. We are creating encapsulins filled with synthetic cargo as a platform for next-generation catalysts and vesicles for targeted drug delivery.
Peptide-based macrocyclic compounds are a highly-underexploited class of molecules in drug development. These compounds can emulate the potency of protein drugs, and the pharmacokinetic properties of small molecules. We are establishing new strategies for synthesising libraries of macrocyclic ‘stapled’ peptides (Nat. Protoc. 2015, 10, 585-594; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 15410-15413) to identify new anti-cancer drug candidates.
For information about opportunities to work or collaborate with the Lau Group, contact Dr Yu Heng Lau via Research Supervisor Connect.