Fredrik Frejd will speak at the Scheele symposium
Get a glimpse of the research that you will get the opportunity to learn more about at the Scheele symposium! The Scheele laureate Professor Peter G. Schultz is one of the pioneers in the field of chemical and synthetic biology and we will introduce the guest speakers who are all active in related fields. One of them is Adjunct Professor Fredrik Frejd from Uppsala University:
How does your research relate to Prof. Shultz’s scientific work?
– Molecular evolution using combinatorial processes is central in Prof Schultz’s work. I have spent over two decades using such processes for translational research with a class of engineered protein molecules that can be both synthesized and chemically modified and recombinantly produced.
Can you explain your research’s potential applications and impact on drug discovery/drug development?
– We are exploring a mini-protein platform called Affibody molecules innovated at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and are constantly expanding its use. We develop these minimized affinity recognition molecules 25 times smaller than an antibody to create novel drugs that can target cancer cells, ultra-selectively block inflammatory mediators or provide tools that can block protein export inside cells.
How has your research contributed to the benefit of patients?
– My research team has discovered and developed a HER2 specific tumor targeting agent that has demonstrated clinical ability to guide therapy decisions for women with metastatic breast cancer, in several cases dramatically changing their life expectancy. We hope that the molecule can soon become an approved available tool for oncologists. My team has also innovated a highly selective blocker of interleukin 17 that has demonstrated strong efficacy in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis whilst avoiding side effects seen with other less selective blockers.
What are some recent breakthroughs or discoveries that will advance in your field?
– AI and the AlphaFold tool have provided a great opportunity to select binders from large repertoires of affinity enriched molecules by prediction of binding epitopes based on the aa-sequence only.
What advice would you give to aspiring researchers interested in pursuing a career in chemical biology, and how can they contribute?
– Find what you think is interesting and let that guide you. Chemical biology is a broad discipline, try to collaborate and learn from different fields. I have always cherished the translational aspect, the practical usability of our research, and that has been my guiding principle, try to find yours!22