Author archives: Isabel Perez Castro

Image of Isabel Perez Castro

Isabel Pérez-Castro obtained her PhD in chemistry at the University of Santiago de Compostela where she completed her thesis on the synthesis of non-natural nucleosides. She then moved to the UK where she has worked in tuberculosis drug discovery at the University of Cambridge, as well as in cancer drug research at Queen Mary, University of London and the Bart's Institute of Cancer. She is now focused on new drug discovery at Magnus Life Science, associated to the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research - UCL.

A new theory on the early building blocks of life

A new theory on the early building blocks of life

BiochemistryBiologyChemistryEvolution

By Isabel Perez Castro

From nucleic acids to proteins and sugar chains, all life is made up of polymers, large molecules made up of sequences of small units called monomers. However, how these macromolecules first appeared on the surface of Earth is still controversial. It is generally assumed that, right before life started, our planet was covered in very […]

Antibody-drug conjugates, a fine example of teamwork

Antibody-drug conjugates, a fine example of teamwork

BiomedicineMolecular biologyPharmacy

By Isabel Perez Castro

The immune system is a complex network that recognises foreign substances in the body. When it detects an alien substance (antigen), it creates antibodies to attack and destroy it. This system protects vertebrates against viruses, bacteria, fungi and other parasites, and is the reason for the “rejection” after organ transplants. When we have cancer, our […]

Voles and the chemistry of love

Voles and the chemistry of love

Neurobiology

By Isabel Perez Castro

The question of how human interaction works is a neurochemical one, but it’s not easy to solve. While many experiments cannot be performed on humans or primates, smaller laboratory animals are useless for this research due to their differences with us. But prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) have social traits that had previously been assumed as […]

Holidays, drug addiction…and cancer research

Holidays, drug addiction…and cancer research

BiochemistryBiomedicineMedicine

By Isabel Perez Castro

Cell signalling is the mechanism by which cells communicate with each other and with their environment. Stimuli, which are generally chemical, are transmitted via a signalling cascade to effector molecules that orchestrate the appropriate response. Signalling pathways are not isolated but they rather form a complex network of biochemical reactions that regulate processes such as […]

How drug discovery works: finding new strategies against Kaposi’s sarcoma

How drug discovery works: finding new strategies against Kaposi’s sarcoma

BiomedicineMedicinePharmacy

By Isabel Perez Castro

15% of human cancers worldwide may be attributed to viruses,1 with both DNA and RNA viruses being capable of causing the disease. Epstein-Barr virus, human papilloma virus, hepatitis B virus, and human herpes virus-8 are the four DNA viruses capable of causing the development of human cancer, whereas human T lymphotrophic virus type 1 and […]

Allergies, heart conditions, depression… Should we really blame our neanderthal grandparents?

Allergies, heart conditions, depression… Should we really blame our neanderthal grandparents?

GeneticsHealth

By Isabel Perez Castro

The finding that modern humans coexisted and mated with Neanderthals 50000 years ago was a breakthrough when it was announced in 2010. As a result of interbreeding, the genomes of all modern Eurasians contain a small Neanderthal DNA load that has been calculated to be between 1.5% and 4%. Most Africans, however, lack this DNA […]