Skip to main content
Dr Heulyn Jones

Dr Heulyn Jones

Research Associate

School of Biosciences

Email
jonesd80@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2251 1080
Campuses
Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Welsh speaking

Overview

I am a medicinal chemist working at the Medicines Discovery Institute (MDI). Following training as a synthetic chemist, I have become interested in a number of areas that lie at the boundary of chemistry and biology that have the potential to be used to develop novel treatments for unmet clinical needs. I am currently part of a multi-disciplinary team working on a potential treatment option for Fragile X Syndrome.

I am interested in using synthetic chemistry in conjunction with the principles of medicinal chemistry to improve the properties of small molecules from the initial ‘hits’ to more suitable molecules that could be used to either validate biological targets/pathways or taken further onwards in the drug discovery process. Whilst improving the properties of these small molecules, I try to be observant of unusual reaction pathways that may be useful in their own right. I am fascinated by the relatively new technology of using bifunctional molecules, such as PROTACs and have a growing interest in diseases that are caused by the misfolding of proteins.

Cemegwr meddyginiaethol ydw i sydd yn gweithio yn y Sefydliad Darganfod Meddyginiaethau (SDM). Yn dilyn hyfforddiant fel cemegwr synthetig, rwyf wedi magu diddordeb mewn nifer o feysydd sydd yn bodoli ar y ffin rhwng cemeg a bioleg sydd â’r potensial i gael eu defnyddio i ddatblygu triniaethau newydd ar gyfer anghenion clinigol heb eu cwrdd. Ar hyn o bryd, rwyf yn rhan o dîm amlddisgyblaethol sy’n gweithio ar ddatblygu opsiwn o driniaeth bosib ar gyfer Syndrom Fragile X.

Mae diddordeb gennyf mewn defnyddio cemeg synthetig mewn cyfuniad ag egwyddorion cemeg feddyginiaethol i wella priodweddau molecylau bychain dechreuol prosiect ymchwil i folecylau sydd yn fwy addas at gael eu defnyddio i wirio targedau/llwybrau biolegol neu a fydd yn cael eu dewis i fynd ymhellach ar hyd y broses darganfod meddyginiaethau. Wrth wella priodweddau’r molecylau bychain hyn, rwyf yn ceisio cadw golwg fanwl am adweithiau cemegol anarferol a allai fod yn ddefnyddiol. Rwyf yn gweld molecylau deuswyddogaethol, megis PROTACs, sydd yn dechnoleg eitha newydd, yn hynod o ddiddorol ac mae gennyf ddiddordeb cynyddol mewn afiechydon sy’n cael eu hachosi gan broteinau sydd wedi’u camblygu.

Biography

My undergraduate studies (MChem) were carried out at Cardiff University. Along with my final year project on the generation of quaternary carbon centres using novel organoboron chemistry (Prof. Keith Smith), I was given the opportunity by the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) to work on the synthesis of dorsomorphin (Prof. Mark Bagley). I continued my research under the supervision of Prof. Keith Smith in collaboration with Dr Mark Elliot at Cardiff University, working on the cyanidation, DCME, 1-lithio-3-chloropropene and bromomethyl lithium organoboron reactions. Following completion of the PhD, I spent just over three years at the University of Strathclyde with Prof. Nick Tomkinson’s research group, working on two main projects: small molecule modulation of REV-ERBα/RORα nuclear receptors and small molecule promoted proliferation of liver progenitor cells (UK stem cell hub). I was also involved in a number of additional medicinal chemistry and organic chemistry projects. In 2016, I moved to the University of Manchester to work with Dr. Sam Butterworth on a multi-collaborative drug discovery project, to develop novel inhibitors of the calmodulin-dependent kinases. Following this, I started my current position at the newly-formed Medicines Discovery Institute (MDI) at Cardiff University in 2018, where I have been working on several CNS drug discovery targets.

Cyflewnais fy astudiaethau israddedig (MChem) ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd. Yn ogystal â fy mhrosiect blwyddyn olaf ar greu atomau carbon cwaternaidd gan ddefnyddio cemeg organoboron (yr Athro Keith Smith), cefais y cyfle gan Raglen Cyfleoedd Ymchwil Israddedig Caerdydd (CUROP) i weithio ar syntheseiddio dorsomorphin (yr Athro Mark Bagley). Parheais fy ymchwil dan oruchwyliad yr Athro Keith Smith gan gydweithio â Dr Mark Elliot ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, drwy weithio ar yr adweithiau organoboron cyanideiddio, DCME, 1-lithio-3-cloropropin a bromomethyl lithiwm. Yn dilyn cwblhad y ddoethuriaeth, treuliais fymryn dros dair blynedd ym Mhrifysgol Ystrad Clud gyda grŵp ymchwil yr Athro Nick Tomkinson yn gweithio ar ddau brif brosiect: modiwleiddio derbynyddion niwclear REV-ERBα/RORα a hybu tyfiant celloedd bôn yr afu drwy ddefnyddio molecylau bychain (hwb celloedd bôn y DU). Yn ogystal, roeddwn yn rhan o sawl prosiect cemeg organig a chemeg feddyginiaethol ychwanegol. Yn 2016, symudais i Brifysgol Manceinion i weithio gyda Dr Sam Butterworth ar brosiect darganfod meddyginiaethau aml-gydweithredol i ddatblygu atalyddion nofel i’r cinasau sy’n ddibynnol ar galmodwlin. Yn dilyn hyn, dechreuais fy swydd gyfredol yn y Sefydliad Darganfod Meddyginiaethau (SDM) ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd yn 2018, lle rwyf wedi bod yn gweithio ar sawl targed ymchwil darganfod feddyginiaethol o fewn y System Nerfol Ganolog (SNG).

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Current and past projects that I am/have been involved in within the MDI:

  • Investigation of GABA receptor subtype-selective small molecules as a potential treatment for the cognitive impairment that accompanies Huntington’s disease (funded by the Wellcome Trust).
  • Research into a small molecule target that may deliver a treatment option for Fragile X Syndrome (funded by the MRC).
  • A Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC)-funded project to look at an innovative method of treatment for prion diseases.
  • A Cardiff University seedcorn-funded proof of concept project to research whether activation of a lysosomal target could be used as an alternative treatment for prion diseases.

Prosiectau rwyf yn/wedi bod yn ymwneud â hwy o fewn y SDM:

  • Ymchwil i mewn i folecylau bychain sydd â detholusrwydd ar draws is-fathau o dderbynyddion GABA ar gyfer triniaeth bosib i ddirywiad deallusol sydd yn gysylltuedig â chlefyd Huntington (ariannwyd gan y Wellcome Trust).
  • Ymchwil i mewn i darged molecylau bychain a allai olygu opsiwn am driniaeth i Syndrom Fragile X (ariannwyd gan yr MRC).
  • Prosiect wedi’i ariannu gan y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (CCC) i edrych ar ddull arloesol o drin afiechydon prion.
  • Prosiect wedi’i ariannu gan Brifysgol Caerdydd i ymchwilio a allai actifeiddio targed leisosomal arwain at driniaeth amgen ar gyfer afiechydon prion.