Heptares Therapeutics, UK
Ali Jazayeri, PhD, is head of protein engineering at Heptares Therapeutics. He received his undergraduate degree in generics from University of Manchester in 1999 and his PhD in Molecular Biology from Cambridge University in 2003. Ali joined Heptares in 2007 as the company was founded and led the technology development and industrialization of the receptor stabilisation methodology. In his current position, he is responsible for the protein engineering group that generates stabilized receptors for crystallisation and antibody generation. Prior to joining Heptares, he was a post-doctoral scientist at Cancer research UK Clare Hall laboratories and KuDOS pharmaceuticals working on DNA damage response pathways.
GPCRs represent excellent antibody targets given their central role in the pathology of many diseases and cell surface location. However GPCRs make poor antigens due to their conformational flexibility, low expression levels, inherent instability and hydrophobic nature. Using protein engineering approaches we create conformationally stabilised receptors (StaRs) that can be purified to high purity and homogeneity with enhanced half-life. StaRs allow generation of high quality antigens that can be used to raise functional antibodies.