There's an urgent need for new antibacterial agents to combat MDR pathogens. We're currently targeting problematic pseudomonas and acinobacter strains as well as tackling the re-emergence of tuberculosis.
We're developing new anti-cancer agents including inhibitors of histone deacetylase (HDACis) and isosteric analogues (1,2,3-triazole-to-amide replacement) in established pharmaceuticals. This includes several novel compounds with anti-proliferative properties similar to, or better than, Casodex.
New potent and fluorescent analogues of the well-studied HDACi Scriptaid have also been used to demonstrate rapid cellular uptake and targeting of non-nuclear HDAC enzymes. As a result, we know these agents have great potential as cancer theranostic agents.
Supramolecular chemistry furthers our understanding of how matter interacts at a molecular level. We use preorganised [n]polynorbornanes to study the interactions of biologically relevant dicarboxylates and phosphoanionic species.
Using similar molecular frameworks, we've recently constructed metallosupramolecular cages with customised endohedral functionality. These cages are at the forefront of supramolecular chemistry research and have great potential as both catalysts
In addition to the metallosupramolecular cages, a range of C2-symmetric organocatalysts have been constructed to facilitate asymmetric aldol reactions on water using very low catalysts loadings (0.05-1 mol%). We're currently exploring the application of these catalysts to the cascade synthesis of complex organic molecules of biological interest.
While carbon fibre reinforced materials are now standard in aerospace and automotive industries, current materials reach only 7–10 per cent of their theoretical maximum strength. Under the banner of materials chemistry, we're engineering a reactive carbon fibre surface chemically bonds at the interface, boosting the strength of these composites by up to 78 per cent.
Dr Fred Pfeffer
+61 3 5227 1439
Email Dr Pfeffer