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Photoswitch Development

Our work in photoswitchable reagents for tubulin and for TRP channels relies on the right merge of photoswitch with bioactive pharmacophore, in order to address a given biological target with the right assay performance. Azobenzenes are popular go-to photoswitches on the basis of chemical reasons (ease of synthesis, reliability of photoswitching), but it is becoming clear through research from us and many others that there are large application spaces in biology (particularly, systemic long-term in vivo biology) where they simply do not work.

Ben, Li, Adrian and Alex are working to turn this around with a range of different, biologically complementary photoswitch types. Though Ben's work as part of our SPP1926 project takes the cake for weirdest column fraction colours...