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Lisa is currently a MPhil student in Professor Anne Willis' research group. She previously graduated from Imperial College London with a BSc in Medical Biosciences. During this research-focuses degree, Lisa had the opportunity to work on a 6-month project with Dr Nicholas Kirkby, investigating the role of endothelial COX-2 in the gut and its relevance to NSAID-associated cardiovascular side-effects.

Research interests:

The pharmaceutical industry must deliver new safe and effective medicines while limiting costs of development. A lack of mechanistic understanding of potential toxicity limits the ability to predict adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and many drugs that fail during clinical trials cause mitochondria toxicity.
A 1H-1,2,3-triazole chemical substructure, present in a compound that was withdrawn due to patient ADRs, was previously identified to inhibit mitochondria function. This structure is also present in several other anti-cancer therapeutics, however, the presence of a 1H-1,2,3-triazole alone is not sufficient to induce mitochondria toxicity. Lisa's research focuses on understanding the chemical context that 1H-1,2,3-triazole is toxic to mitochondria. To address this question, analogues of a compound that contains a 1H-1,2,3-triazole, but does not inhibit mitochondria, have been synthesised. Using these new compounds, it will be possible to examine their effect on cellular energy production, mitochondria function and cell viability in a range of cancer cell lines, including those that are dependent on their mitochondria for cellular energy production (i.e., acute myeloid leukaemia). Understanding how these analogues are toxic to mitochondria will help inform future safe drug design, while furthering our understanding of designing chemotherapeutics that primarily target mitochondria function.

MPhil student

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road


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