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Dr Zoe Waller
Appointment
  • Associate Professor in Drug Discovery
  • Pharma & Bio Chemistry
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Role
UCL Subsidiary Supervisor
Biography
Zoё graduated with a MChem (Distinction) in Chemistry with Pharmaceutical and Forensic Science from the University of Bradford in 2005. They then moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge to continue their studies towards a PhD in Chemical Biology under the supervision of Sir Shankar Balasubramanian. Zoё’s thesis was based on the design, properties and function of small molecule ligands which interact with G-quadruplex DNA. Whilst completing their PhD they were involved with teaching and demonstrating undergraduate students and also STIMULUS, where they helped run after-school Science classes. In 2008 Zoё was awarded the Corporate Associates Prize for Practical Class Demonstration in recognition of "outstanding qualities in the teaching of practical chemistry". After completing their PhD in 2009 they gained further teaching experience within the secondary education sector before taking up a position as Senior Demonstrator in Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at UEA. After gaining some further experience in industry at HFL Sport Science Zoё returned to UEA School of Pharmacy in late 2010 as a Junior Lecturer in Chemical Biology. They were promoted to Lecturer in 2014 and Senior Lecturer in 2017. Zoё moved to UCL School of Pharmacy in July 2020 in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry as an Associate Professor. Zoё is currently on the committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry Nucleic Acids Group (Secretary) and the Chemical Biology and Bio-organic interest group (Treasurer), part of the Royal Society of Chemistry degree accreditation panel, an associate of the Faculty of 1000 and a STEM ambassador. They are a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Research Summary
Zoё’s research is focussed at the interface between chemistry and biology and they are particularly interested in drug-nucleic acid interactions and studying alternative DNA structures. Zoё’s group uses many different experimental approaches including organic synthesis, biophysics and molecular biology. Their research has two general themes: switching DNA conformation for uses in nanotechnology and targeting DNA/RNA with small molecule ligands for applications in biology. The work has applications in nanotechnology, chemical biology and development of novel therapeutics for genetic diseases such as cancer, diabetes or fragile X syndrome.

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