Souroprobho Chowdhury (Souro) is a PhD candidate in Chemical Biology at Imperial College London. He received his Masters in Chemistry from the University of Manchester (First Class) where he worked in Professor David Procter's group. Prior to this, Souro acquired experiences in the area of Computational Biology (EMBL-EBI, Cambridge) and worked briefly at Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) in Basel, Switzerland in their RNA Therapeutics Research division. In 2019, Souro was awarded the prestigious President’s PhD Scholarship that allowed him to move to Imperial. His research project is supervised by Dr. Marco Di Antonio and co-supervised by Professor Ramon Vilar.
Souro's research investigates the chemical biology of quadruple helix DNA structures called G-quadruplexes (G4s). These unusual DNA structures can exist in the human genome as alternative forms to the iconic double-helix structure. Crucially, there is mounting evidence linking G4s to a range of clinical conditions ranging from various types of cancers to a number of neurodegenerative diseases. Souro's project investigates the stability, structure and kinetics of some G4 structures from a fundamental biophysical perspective.
A key aspect of the project is to establish design principles to make synthetic molecules that target G4 structures in cells to a) interrogate specific biological function of G4s and b) evaluate the performance of such molecules in modulating cellular processes such as gene-expression. The knowledge from this project will have high relevance for the development of G4-mediated therapeutics in neurodegenerative diseases including familial ALS and FTD, that have a high unmet medical need.