Ave Kuusk

Nationality:

   Estonia

Institution:

Astra Zeneca R&D

Supervision:

Dr. Hongming Chen, Prof. Christian Ottmann, Dr. Helen Boyd

Research Topic:

Characterization of 14-3-3 PPI and identification of isoform-specific small molecule modulators.

About the project:

The aim of my PhD project is to evaluate the druggability of 14-3-3 and its binding partners through the identification and development of small molecular modulators for 14-3-3 interaction with p53. 14-3-3 proteins are positive regulators of the tumor suppressor protein p53, the mutation of which is implicated in many human cancers.  Current therapeutic strategies for targeting p53 mainly involve inhibition of the interaction with MDM2, its key negative regulator. However, the alternative approach of stabilizing the interaction of p53 with 14-3-3 proteins, its positive regulators, has not yet been explored. The discovery of small-molecules stabilizing 14-3-3/p53 interaction would potentially offer a novel mechanism of modulating dysfunctional p53 in tumor cell. 

 

Personal information:

I was born in a small town in South of Estonia. I graduated from the University of Tartu with a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 2015. During my studies, I became interested in drug discovery and design. I’m doing my PhD at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, where I can fulfill my dream of working in a pharmaceutical company.

 

Secondments:

Eindhoven University of Technology (6 months)

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