<b>Associate Professor Mark Smythe</b><br>
Group Leader, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division<br>
Investigator, Centre for Pain Research<p>
P: +61 7 3346 2977<br>
E: m.smythe@imb.uq.edu.au<p>
- asthma<br>
- leukaemia<br>
- inflammatory bowel disease<br>
- peptides<br>
- drug discovery<br>
- drug development
Associate Professor Mark Smythe
Group Leader, Chemistry and Structural Biology Division
Investigator, Centre for Pain Research

P: +61 7 3346 2977
E: m.smythe@imb.uq.edu.au

- asthma
- leukaemia
- inflammatory bowel disease
- peptides
- drug discovery
- drug development

Combinatorial chemistry and molecular design

Our research focuses on advancing drug design and synthetic, organic and peptide chemistry to discover novel drug candidates. We apply these design and discovery methodologies to discover new drugs to treat unmet medical needs or provide better therapeutic solutions to existing marketed drugs.

In 2013, we have achieved efficacy in an in vivo model of iron disease; achieved desired selectivity profile for a potential pain therapeutic; optimised an anti-asthma candidate; and achieved compelling in vivo data for a once-a-week injectable anti-IL-6 antagonist.

We have several applied projects pursuing constrained peptides to modulate difficult or undruggable targets for inflammatory bowel disease. Specifically, we are pursuing clinically validated targets serviced by marketed antibody drugs that are currently available as injectable treatments. We plan to replace these treatments with orally delivered constrained peptide alternatives, which will deliver more effective, affordable and non-invasive drugs.

Our projects are multidisciplinary and focus on achieving medical outcomes. Several of them involve partnerships with industry. They range from technology development and early drug discovery to preclinical drug candidate selection. Using a combination of mathematics, software development, drug design, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, structural biology and phage display, we are developing new approaches to treat asthma, leukaemia and inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, in our structural biology studies, we are using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to study the structure and dynamics of proteins using a suite of new chemical probes.

We continue to purse late-stage preclinical optimisation for several drug candidates in diverse therapeutic areas such as asthma, pain, iron overload disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

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Research training opportunities

Please see IMB's postgraduate website for more information. 

Key publications

View more publications by Associate Professor Smythe via Pubmed or  via UQ Researchers.

Horton, D.A., Horton, G.T., Coughlan, J., Kaiser, S.M., Jacobs, C.M., Jones, A., Ruhmann, A., Turner, J.Y., and Smythe, M.L. (2008). Cyclic tetrapeptides via the ring contraction strategy: chemical techniques useful for their identification. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 6: 1386-1395.

Severinsen, R., Bourne, G.T., Tran, T.T., Ankersen, M., Begtrup, M., and Smythe, M.L. (2008). Library of Biphenyl Privleged Substructures using a Safety-Catch Linker Approach. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry 10: 557-566.

Horton, D.A., Severinsen, R., Kofod-Hansen, M., Bourne, G.T., and Smythe, M.L. (2005). A versatile synthetic approach to peptidyl privileged structures using a safety catch linker. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry 7: 421-435.

Horton, D.A., Bourne, G.T., and Smythe, M.L. (2003). The Combinatorial Synthesis of Bicyclic Privileged Structures or Privileged Substructures. Chemical Reviews 103: 893-930.

Meutermans, W.D.F., Bourne, G.T., Golding, S.W., Horton, D.A., Campitelli, M.R., Craik, D., Scanlon, M., and Smythe, M.L. (2003). Difficult Macrocyclisations: New Strategies for Synthesising Highly Strained Cyclic Tetrapeptides. Organic Letters 5: 2711-2714.

Group contacts

Dr Greg Bourne
Research staff
+61 7 334 62976
Mrs Jaimee McMahon
Research staff
+61 7 334 62364
Dr Adam Stephenson
Research visitor
+61 7 334 62368
Ms Miranda Coleman
Research staff
+61 7 334 62368
Ms Eva Mowe
Research staff
+61 7 334 62364
Ms Isobella Stone
Research visitor
+61 7 334 62367
Dr Christina Kulis
Research staff
+61 7 334 62368
Dr Sonya Scott
Research staff
+61 7 334 62361
Dr Ramya Mandyam
Research staff
+61 7 334 62364

Associate Professor Mark Smythe
Group leader
+61 7 334 62977



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