Sean Fitzgerald

Background: BSc. (Hons) Chemical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry – Dublin City University (2015).

Research Project: Targeted “Click Chemistry” for Bioactive Drug Conjugation.

Click chemistry is now an established method for post-functionalistaion of alkyne-modified nucleic acids. This technology is of great importance to both life sciences and biotechnology as it facilitates the labelling of DNA and RNA and in turn, allows for the detection, control and analysis of biochemical processes involving nucleic acids. One of the most powerful aspects of this technique is selected incorporation of alkyne-nucleobases within DNA structures by enzymatic process (e.g., the PCR). In addition to labelling of nucleic acids for detection purpose, the Kellett group of DCU postulate the ‘click’ reaction may provide a unique platform to attach small molecule DNA and RNA binders—some with catalytic function—thereby generating unique ‘gene knockout’ agents with programmed recognition at a predetermined genetic locus. This project will focus on the development of copper-free click reactions on nucleic acids by small molecule DNA binders.

Funding body: SSPC/SFI

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