Prof. Sir Tom Blundell from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, delivered a Distinguished Lecture on 13th January 2014 at the DST Auditorium, University of Hyderabad. His initial work on the crystal structure of human hormone, insulin solved in 1960’s has application in health management till today. The similarities in the structures of aspartic protease family members and the HIV protease resulted in the discovery of HIV drugs. Incorporation of indigenous computational methods for protein structure modeling and structure guided drug design has changed the conventional route for drug designing.
The application of methods that provide complementary data further enhances the chance of drug discovery. In spite of these efforts, according to Prof. Blundell, the pathogen is cleverer than the host! Therefore it rapidly mutates itself to become drug resistant. Exploring the biological and chemical space complementarity within this new paradigm must be implemented quickly. A multidisciplinary approach by partnering with suitable collaborators by Prof. Blundell has led to successful establishment of several companies that generate employment and revenue. Prof. Blundell’s group comprises several students, post-docs and visiting researchers from many countries with different ethnic backgrounds. He believes that key to success is this multi-pronged strategy with patience and perseverance.