Projects per year
Key Research Interests
Work in the research group focuses on targeting protein-protein interactions in cancer highlighted by mutations in non-cancerous disease. We have expertise in the design of protein-protein interaction modulators and their evaluation in in vitro protein assays and cellular assays. We use peptides derived from the natural protein partners as scaffolds to identify small molecule inhibitors, suitable for drug development.
Current projects look at 1) inhibiting the immune checkpoint of PD-1/PD-L1 by developing small molecules based on cyclic peptides. 2) Inhibiting the protein-protein interactions in telomerase based on mutations observed in early ageing diseases. 3) Inhibiting the protein-protein interactions of the transcription factors Nrf2 and MafG based on mutations observed in inflammation related cataracts.
Research Group or Lab Membership
Dee Hayward - October 2020 - D.Hayward@uea.ac.uk
Suzanne van Wier - October 2020 - S.Van-Wier@uea.ac.uk
Jack Connor - September 2021 - J.Connor@uea.ac.uk
Ellie Hyde - October 2021 - Ellie.Hyde@uea.ac.uk
Owen Mullen - November 2022 - O.Mullen@uea.ac.uk
Join the Group
We are always excited to hear from prospective PhD students and post-doctoral research fellows.
All funded positions will be advertised on the UEA vacancies website, and on FindAPhD or jobs.ac.uk
We are always happy to support any applications for external funding. If you would like to discuss project ideas or find more information on external funding opportunities, please email Andrew.
Andrew took up a position as an Independent Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy in February 2017, and as a Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in April 2019. His research interests include developing new methods to target protein-protein interactions, finding new pharmaceutical leads and chemical probes for protein-protein interactions, and designing new molecular recognition structures for delivery of cytotoxic warheads.
In 2015, Andrew moved to the University of East Anglia, School of Pharmacy to work with Dr Lesley Howell, examining the protein-protein interaction of Mcl-1 and NOXA, proteins which regulate apoptosis and are commonly exploited by cancers. In 2016, Andrew began working with Prof. Mark Searcey, on common fruit metabolites as anti-inflammatory agents, and the targeting of small molecules to DNA trinucleotide repeat disorders.
Andrew studied for his B.Sc.(Adv.) at the Australian National University and received a First Class Honours degree in 2009. He began his Ph.D. in 2010 with Assoc. Prof. Russell Barrow at the Research School of Chemistry as an Alan Sargeson Scholar, focusing on the synthesis of biologically active natural products from fungi used by tribes from Papua New Guinea. In 2014, he won an Endeavour Research Fellowship to train with Assoc. Prof. Gregory Dake at the University of British Columbia, Department of Chemistry, Vancouver, Canada. Whilst at UBC Andrew designed new organometallic controlled reactions to prepare natural products.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
1 Feb 2010 → 1 Sep 2013
Award Date: 24 Jan 2014
Bachelor of Science, Australian National University
1 Feb 2006 → 1 Nov 2009
Award Date: 1 Nov 2009
Dive into details
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Controlling the protein-protein interactions of telomerase
1/09/21 → 31/08/23
Control transcription factors with protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions
1/06/23 → 31/05/26
The Chemistry Shed
Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP
1/02/23 → 31/03/23
Protein interactions in cell division: inhibiting FtsZ and SepH for species-specific antibiotics
Beekman, A. & Schlimpert, S.
1/10/22 → 31/03/23
Project: Internal Funding › GCRF
Peptide-directed binding for the discovery of modulators of α-helix-mediated protein-protein interactions: Proof-of-concept studies with the apoptosis regulator Mcl-1Beekman, A. M., O'Connell, M. A. & Howell, L. A., 21 Aug 2017, In: Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 56, 35, p. 10446–10450 5 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile9 Citations (Scopus)30 Downloads (Pure)
Identification of selective protein-protein interaction inhibitors using efficient in silico peptide-directed ligand designBeekman, A. M., Cominetti, M. M. D., Walpole, S. J., Prabhu, S., O'Connell, M. A., Angulo Alvarez, J. & Searcey, M., 28 Apr 2019, In: Chemical Science. 10, 16, p. 4502-4508 7 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile11 Citations (Scopus)39 Downloads (Pure)
In silico peptide-directed ligand design complements experimental peptide-directed binding for protein–protein interaction modulator discoveryHowell, L. A. & Beekman, A. M., 1 Feb 2021, In: RSC Chemical Biology. 2, 1, p. 215-219 5 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)32 Downloads (Pure)
A small molecule drug conjugate (SMDC) of DUPA and a duocarmycin built on the solid phaseBeekman, A., Cominetti, M., Cartwright, O., Boger, D. L. & Searcey, M., Dec 2019, In: MedChemComm. 10, 12, p. 2170-2174 5 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile11 Downloads (Pure)
Dioscin-related glycosides as positive allosteric modulators of P2X7 receptorsStokes, L., Bielecka, H., Felgate, M., Beekman, A., Ngameni, B., Chi, G. F., Stephenson, R. & Bidula, S., Dec 2021, In: British Journal of Pharmacology. 178, 24, p. 4947 1 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Abstract › peer-review