Burgess Lab

Dr Burgess has a diversity of interests, but currently his research focuses on small molecules interacting with protein surfaces. Half his group studies rational design of small molecules to interfere with protein-protein interactions, while the other researches small molecules that bind certain cell surface receptors, hence can be used to as preclinical imaging and therapeutic agents.

He introduced the concept of universal peptidomimetics, and developed from that a suite of techniques based on Exploring Key Orientations, a new approach for design of small molecules to perturb protein-protein interactions that involves mining the protein databank.  Discoveries emerging from this led him to establish the company Small Molecule PPI Mimics LLCbased on this technology. Dr Burgess has designed small molecules for active targeting of cancer cells particularly via the TrkC receptor; and potential applications of this work are in diagnostics, imaging, and therapeutics.  The molecule D3he designed to bind the TrkA receptor is now in phase III clinical trials for treatment of dry-eye disease.  Burgess has an re-energized interest in finding antagonists of TrkA – C in the context of disease of the eye.  Overall, much of Burgess work involves fluorescent dyes.  The Burgess Group has published extensively on BODIPYs, and currently they are vigorously investigating the mode of action and applications oftumor-seeking cyanine dyes.

Burgess Group Home Page: here.

Group Character

Burgess’ co-workers learn a wide range of techniques.  These include: organic syntheses in solution and on solid supports, combinatorial chemistry, spectroscopic determination of preferred conformational states, cell studies and tissue culture (BSL-2), biophysical assays (FACS, ELISA, fluorescence polarization, ITC, SPR, blotting), intracellular imaging (static and dynamic confocal techniques), computational techniques (modeling, bioinformatics, and, currently, a little machine learning).  We are particularly interested in recruiting a co-worker with extensive hands-on experience with mouse models, but this is not essential.  Teamwork, collaboration, and teaching practical expertise are particularly encouraged.

Postdoctoral Opening

We currently have openings for postdoctoral associates.  Intellect and enthusiasm are more valued than any particular expertise, but some experience overlap with our research is obviously desirable.  Interested researchers should please email a cv with complete list of publications, list of three referees, and a brief letter describing expertise they have to offer in the group infrastructure outlined above. Email to burgess@tamu.edu and cc to the group assistant andrea: ascott@chem.tamu.edu.