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Dr Deborah Shoemark


Following my degree in medical biochemistry I gained a PhD in enzymology, both at Bristol University, with Professors John Holbrook and Anthony Clarke. I spent my first post-doc combining enzymology with structural biology and mutagenesis to further explore enzyme structure and function. I then moved into drug discovery programmes as a molecular modeller involving Trks A and B and the neurotrophins. This work was targeting pain management (in the periphery) and Alzheimer's disease (centrally). Following that I worked with the MRC Prion Unit and identified compounds capable of stabilizing the human prion protein with low micromolar affinity towards a treatment for Creutzfeld Jacob's disease. This was achieved using the Bristol University Docking Environment (BUDE) software written by Dr Richard Sessions, for which I had beta tested the release version and compiled tutorials and user manual.  I then "side-lined" for a while setting up the beginnings of what I hope will lead to clinical trial to see whether targeting oral bacteria in the mouths of patients with mild Alzheimer's helps to slow disease progression. This was set up as a result of the compelling circumstantial evidence linking oral health to Alzheimer's. I myself and others had also found direct evidence of oral bacteria in samples taken post mortem from the brains of elderly donors.  

I have now moved back into the arena of molcular modelling. In particular I am using atomistic molecular modelling methods to explore the sequence/structure relationships in nanoparticles including self-assembling peptide cages (SAGES). 



School of Biochemistry

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