Developing computation tools for the rational design of cyclic peptide therapeutics

The majority of drugs that enter the market are discovered by screening millions of random chemical compounds until a desired effect is achieved. With the recent explosion in available biological data and raw computing power, it is now possible to develop drugs through bottom-up design rather than trial-and-error testing. Bottom-up drug design has the potential to lower R&D costs, improve success rates and reduce therapeutic side effects. ProteinQure aims to achieve these goals by designing peptide therapeutics computationally. Peptides are modular molecules that can be designed to have a desired effect on a disease target. The purpose of this project is to develop computational design tools for peptide macrocycles–a constrained class of peptides which has strong therapeutic potential, but limited design tools. The tools developed in this project will improve the effectiveness of peptide design pipelines at ProteinQure, thus contributing to the development of rationally-designed drugs in the future.

Faculty Supervisor:

Murray Junop


Robert Szabla




Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Professional, scientific and technical services


Western University



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