Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Jody Mason

Senior Lecturer

4 South 1.44

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386867



Dr Jody Mason


My group focuses on two key disease areas;

  • switching off a cancer-causing transcriptional protein (Activator Protein-1) thereby enabling a greater understanding of how this oncogenic protein functions in cancer and
  • blocking aggregation of β-amyloid and α-synuclein peptides associated with the generation of neurotoxic agents in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases.

To antagonise these major players in chronic disease and ageing we employ semi-rational design using Protein-fragment Complementation Assays (PCA). In PCA key regions responsible for mediating binding between proteins are scrambled and library screening and selection is performed inside cells to remove insoluble, protease susceptible and non-specific library members. Target-specificity is aided by a Competitive And Negative Design Initiative (CANDI), while Iterations of Truncation, Randomisation and Selection (TRaSe) help to identify the smallest functional units required for effective binding. Sequences are refined using non-peptidic constraints such as sequence retro-inversal, non-natural amino acid substitution, and introduction of structure-stabilizing constraints, with the aim of generating molecules capable of modulating disease while circumventing many traditional drug development barriers.


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