Located between
Cambridge and Lisbon,
our laboratory works
at the interface of Chemistry
and Biology, with a focus
on protein chemistry and
targeted cancer therapeutics.

LATEST NEWS

August 2017

Nature magazine highlights the rubber-like polysulfide polymer featured on our most recent paper - an exciting collaboration work with the Dr Justin Chalker at Flinders University, Australia. The last generation polymer is a porous material synthesised simply out of old cooking oil and sulfur in the presence of sodium chloride. The resulting rubber has the ability to capture liquid mercury metal, mercury vapour, inorganic mercury bound to organic matter, and highly toxic alkylmercury compounds. Check out the highlight and paper.

June 2017

Lisbon was the meeting point to gather our teams in the first ever GBernardesLab Retreat. Deemed a huge success, members of the Cambridge and Lisbon laboratory got together for three days of intense scientific discussions, sharing ideas and good fun.

ABOUT OUR WORK

about our work

Nature has produced an intricate machinery to covalently diversify the structure of proteins after their synthesis in the ribosome. At the core of our research and in an attempt to mimic nature, we are engineering reactions that allow for post-expression modification of proteins at selected sites. We use such reactions to selectively install particular modifications on proteins for many biological and therapeutic applications. For example, we are developing strategies for site-selective protein labelling in live cells by combining the introduction of small-sized non-proteinogenic tagged amino acids with very rapid chemoselective reactions. We aim to apply these to label and monitor disease-associated proteins under native conditions without interfere with the protein’s innate structure, function, activity and localisation as well as cellular functions.
Another important aspect of protein modification is for example the conjugation of cytotoxic molecules to antibodies to improve efficacy and reduce side effects of cancer treatments. Gonçalo’s laboratory is engineering new reactions that can be performed site-selectively on native antibodies, i.e. without the need for sequence engineering.
These are two examples among other lines of research in our lab that have in common the use of synthetic aqueous chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. Our ultimate goal is to see the widespread use of our findings and methodologies by other laboratories around the world and to directly assist in the design and discovery of new drugs with improved selectivity and efficacy for treating cancer.

ABOUT OUR WORK

about our work

Nature has produced an intricate machinery to covalently diversify the structure of proteins after their synthesis in the ribosome. At the core of our research and in an attempt to mimic nature, we are engineering reactions that allow for post-expression modification of proteins at selected sites. We use such reactions to selectively install particular modifications on proteins for many biological and therapeutic applications. For example, we are developing strategies for site-selective protein labelling in live cells by combining the introduction of small-sized non-proteinogenic tagged amino acids with very rapid chemoselective reactions. We aim to apply these to label and monitor disease-associated proteins under native conditions without interfere with the protein’s innate structure, function, activity and localisation as well as cellular functions.
Another important aspect of protein modification is for example the conjugation of cytotoxic molecules to antibodies to improve efficacy and reduce side effects of cancer treatments. Gonçalo’s laboratory is engineering new reactions that can be performed site-selectively on native antibodies, i.e. without the need for sequence engineering.
These are two examples among other lines of research in our lab that have in common the use of synthetic aqueous chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. Our ultimate goal is to see the widespread use of our findings and methodologies by other laboratories around the world and to directly assist in the design and discovery of new drugs with improved selectivity and efficacy for treating cancer.

University of Cambridge
Department of Chemistry
Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1223336305
gb453@cam.ac.uk

Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa
Av. Prof. Egas Moniz - 1649-028 Lisboa
Portugal
gbernardes@medicina.ulisboa.pt

University of Cambridge
Department of Chemistry

Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1223336305
gb453@cam.ac.uk

Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa

Av. Prof. Egas Moniz - 1649-028 Lisboa
Portugal

gbernardes@medicina.ulisboa.pt