Moira Rachman chose to pursue a PhD as research and education are her passions. At the VU University Amsterdam’s, Medicinal Chemistry group, she gained a strong theoretical and practical background, as well as teaching experience, in the field of medicinal chemistry. Here, she obtained a Bachelor’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Master’s in Drug Discovery & Safety with a specialization in Drug Design & Synthesis. She is enthused by computer aided drug design (CADD) methods aimed at retrieving potent and safe ligands. During her Master’s thesis project, she developed an automated method for gathering ligand-target interaction data on Phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Furthermore, she developed an algorithm that assembled, aligned and docked novel ligands generated from PDE building blocks. She then performed a study on incorporating synthetic feasibility in CADD methods using known fragment libraries. During her Bachelor’s project, she performed docking studies on possible H-1 Receptor (H1R) ligands, and synthesized several H1R ligand analogues. As of September 2016, Moira Rachman will be occupying the ESR9 position, in which the main goals are to create a platform for chemical navigation that is capable of guiding fragment-to-hit evolution, and to apply the method on targets such as epigenetic factors, Janus Kinase and FTSQ.
Project: ESR9: Fragment evolution platform - chemical navigation
Academic supervisor: Prof. Xavier Barril (University of Barcelona)