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Department of Pharmacology


We are very happy to announce that Cynthia Okoye has successfully defended her PhD viva!

Her thesis was titled 'Harnessing the Anaphase Promoting Complex for Targeted Protein Degradation'. It focused on designing molecules that can be used to hijack a particular ubiquitin ligase. This facilitates the targeted destruction of other proteins which are implicated in disease. The ubiquitin ligase she worked with was yet to be utilised. Her work contributed to a better understanding of the parameters that are important for effective targeting by the ubiquitin ligase. It also demonstrated that the enzyme is amenable to coopting via neosubstrates.   

Her examiners were:

  • Dr Delphine Larrieau
  • Dr Norman Davey (external examiner)

Additionally, Cynthia was working on a collaborative project between the Lindon and Itzhaki labs, funded by Gates Cambridge and the Rosetrees Trust. This project was titled ‘Designing targeted protein degradation tools for future therapeutics’.

Cynthia has now taken up a new role with Sygnature Discovery. This company provides integrated drug discovery services to various clients all around the world. As a scientist in the bioscience department at Sygnature, she is part of a small team that develops and performs biochemical screens to address the needs of their clients. She really enjoys that the work is highly collaborative with both the team at Sygnature and its clients. She has also quite enjoyed immersing herself in the new environment and learning about automation and other cool ways to do science!

We wish her all the best in her new career!