Checking I haven’t got my cells mixed up…

Did you know as many as 30% of the cells in labs could be misidentified? And what a nightmare it would be to find out years of your work are just completely wrong because you got your skin cells mixed up with your brain cells… So to avoid that catastrophe, I took some time to Read More …

Modelling diseases of the brain through stem cells

Hello SGC members and to the millions of scientific readers across the globe, My name is Thomas Durcan, and I am an assistant professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and McGill University, where I also lead the SGC tissue platform in Montreal. You can call me the stem cell guy, as everything I and my Read More …

Quinazoline Series: Synthesis

We have received some very interesting biological data for our CaMKK2 inhibitor series (furopyridine, Azaindole and quinoline) and I will be sharing the data in the coming weeks, but before that, I wanted to share my synthetic efforts towards our quinoline series. Synthesis of Quinoline series: Starting with 6-Bromo-4-chloroquinoline, a two (2) step synthetic scheme Read More …

ZFYVE9C purification and association test with TGFBR1 and TGFBR2

ZFYVE9C (Otherwise known as SARA) is a scaffold protein involved in the association of various protein components as part of the TGFB signalling pathway. The equivalent in the BMP signalling pathway is a protein known as Endofin so studying SARA (which is slightly easier) might give us useful insights for both proteins. For more details Read More …

Three new ALK2 structures, one of them not the one I thought!

I’ve not posted in a while, mainly because things have been really busy, but good busy, as I now have 3 new datasets/structures, of ALK2 with M4K2118, M4K2149 and, amazingly, M4K2009. As you know, this is our lead candidate, which until now has not behaved very well in crystal trials, and it hasn’t been possible Read More …

Collecting HAO1 crystal structures with follow-up compounds based on fragment hits

A belated Happy New Year everyone!  It has been a good while since my last post so I wanted to update you on what I have been spending 2019 on so far. After identifying some really promising follow-up compounds in my activity assay, the next step was to find out how they bind to HAO1, Read More …

Last post on Split-SCN1A

The idea for split-intein based SCN1A reconstitution started when I first learned of the split-Cas9 system. Long story short, packaging Cas9 with a guideRNA sequence into an AAV vector is pushing the packaging capacity of AAV vector. To circumvent this issue, the authors design a split-Cas9 system where the coding sequence for Cas9 is split Read More …

A summary of my ALK2 project goals.

I thought I’d spend a blog post just talking about the various paths of my research and try and tie it all together. A lot of my experiments do dot around these various arms of investigation and so one experimental post doesn’t necessarily tie in directly with the previous one or the next one and Read More …