Dr Laura N Jeffreys

Post Doctoral Research Associate

I obtained my BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Lancaster during which time I completed several lab-based projects including working in the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine (UoL) and within a Cancer Research laboratory (LU). I was lucky to transition from BSc to PhD at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) within the University of Manchester. During my PhD I developed many high-value oxy-pharmaceuticals using a bacterial P450 enzyme. P450 enzymes are found in all Kingdoms of life and are important for xenobiotic metabolism and steroid production. Using a number of techniques including X-ray crystallography, H/D-X MS, LC-MS, LC-MS/MS, NMR and synthetic biology approaches we generated known human metabolites for many highly prescribed drugs using our bacterial variant, such as pioglitazone and gemfibrozil. During my PhD I also worked within the University of Manchester’s Intellectual Property Department (UMIP) allowing me to gain commercialisation experience, particularly for pharmaceutical and graphene-based products. Before starting at LSTM I worked at the contract research organisation Gentronix, testing compounds such as fragrances, pharmaceuticals and pesticides for cytotoxic effects. 

Research

Many treatments currently exist to treat tuberculosis, particularly active forms of this devastating disease. Recently, several inhibitors of the electron transport chain (ETC) have been approved for clinical use. By starving the cells of energy using ETC inhibitors, in isolation or in combination therapies, there is a potential to treat drug-susceptible, drug-resistant and latent forms of TB. Recent success stories, such as Q203 and bedaquiline, have highlighted the advantages of using ETC inhibitors in clinical settings. However, the ETC of tuberculosis is easily modulated by the pathogen leading to resistance and reduced bactericidal effects. We are investigating current and novel compounds to treat TB using combination approaches. 

 

Associate member (AMRSB) of the Royal Society of Biology (RSB)

Member of the Biochemical Society