Heat shock protein 27 kDa (Hsp27) is a protein that is overexpressed in cancer cells, where it protects these cells from death and promotes drug resistance. Targeting HSP27 is a promising therapeutic strategy, where depleting Hsp27 levels is successfully treating patients in clinical trials. However, there are no small molecule Hsp27 inhibitors. This translational research will involve the skills of a synthetic chemist (McAlpine) to synthesize new molecules, a native mass spec expert (Donald) who will determine binding affinity for Hsp27, and a translational biologist (Phillips) who will test the lead compounds in clinically relevant models in pancreatic cancer.
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