Congratulations to Shankar Balasubramanian, who has won the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry BioMedicinal  Chemistry, one of the leading international prizes in organic chemistry.

The Balasubramanian lab apply the principles of chemistry to biology to gain fundamental molecular insights into the genes implicated in cancer. They are particularly interested in special DNA structures called quadruplexes that form under certain conditions and are involved in the expression of cancer genes.

demonstrated that these structures are found in living human cells. Up until then researchers had only been able to work with DNA quadruplexes in test tubes in the lab.

Their results are exciting because they found links between high concentrations of quadruplexes in cells and the process of cell division. In cancer cells, cell division is out of control, which suggests that targeting quadruplexes could halt this runaway process, offering researchers a target to investigate for alternative cancer treatments.

 
17 Jul 2013