Professor John Mann
BSc (University College London), 1967
PhD (University College London), 1970
DSc (University of London), 1990
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry
A continuing programme (in collaboration with Professor Stephen Neidle at the Cancer Research UK Biomolecular Structure Unit at the School of Pharmacy in London) seeks to provide a universal DNA minor groove binder based upon our results with bis-benzimidazoles (X=CH2 or O).
Several of these compounds have shown in vitro anti-cancer activity at the nanomolar level and we are now conjugating bis-benzimidazoles to known anti-cancer drugs to provide new targeted anti-cancer agents.
Interestingly one of these bis-benzimidazoles has been shown to have specific antibacterial activity against Clostridium difficile, which is a potentially fatal hospital-acquired bacterium. A phase I clinical trial is underway.
I have a continuing interest in the communication of science to the general public with a special emphasis on providing an understanding of the origins of the drugs that are in common use. As well as talks to general audiences, the communication is effected through a number of popular science publications:
The Elusive Magic Bullet, Oxford University Press, 1999.
Murder, Magic and Medicine, Oxford University Press, 2000.
Life Saving Drugs, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004.
Turn On and Tune In: Psychedelics, Narcotics and Euphoriants, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2009
Chasms of Delight, Memoirs Publishing, June 2012.