Bioinpharmatics (as opposed to bioinformatics) is a construct that conveys my research interest in translational bioinformatics - an approach that makes best use of available technologies to integrate data and develop system wide models of human disease that can be mined for novel means of therapeutic intervention.
In particular, we have developed text-mining approaches to extract disease relevant protein interactions from the literature and have mined these for key nodes and novel biology when integrated into disease specific networks. Most recently we have applied a network pharmacology approach, using bioactivity databases to identify compounds with the potential to disrupt the structure of disease networks in preference to non-diseased networks. This contrasts with traditional approaches to drug discovery where potency and specificity against a single target are paramount. This, therefore, is a rational approach to the discovery of compounds with a poly-pharmacology based therapeutic value. Such compounds are likely going to be vital for the treatment of complex diseases involving multiple pathways. We validate our predictions in phenotypically relevant screens and are now progressing lead candidates into pre-clinical studies of their efficacy.
In addition, we make use of functional genomics to uncover drivers of disease biology. This has been done both by the development of novel methods to identify upstream drivers of disease related expression changes and more recently by the integration of multiple omic data types (methylomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) over time. Both of these approaches have led to the identification of novel drivers of neuropathic pain development, which we are currently validating.
I am computational biologist with a background in molecular biology and drug-target discovery. My initial training in molecular microbiology was followed by a stint at the University of California, Berkeley working on the pathogenesis of TB. I returned to London for my doctorate studies, again on TB but from a combined bioinformatics/wet-lab angle. I was awarded my PhD in 2008 from the University of London. I then undertook post doctoral research at Pfizer in Sandwich, Kent in the bioinformatics department seconded to the anti-viral research unit. Latterly I have focused on the biology of human disease and I am currently part of Neusentis in Cambridge, UK. I'm interested in all things cool in molecular biology, epigenetics, bioinformatics and where they cross over.