Dr Snaith's research interests are based around the development of new methodology for synthetic organic chemistry and its use to solve challenging problems in medicine and biology. The development of new methodology is focused on stereocontrolled ring forming reactions, using either free radical or pericyclic chemistry and starting with readily available amino acids, to generate functionalised nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles with potent biological activity. Current targets include key building blocks in drugs used to treat stroke and HIV.
Understanding small molecule-receptor interactions is of fundamental importance in medicinal chemistry. We have designed a number of pseudopeptide ligands for key receptors in the immune system implicated in autoimmune disease (such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis), and in conjunction with researchers in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and the Medical School at Birmingham we plan to investigate the binding of these ligands to their receptor (by high field nmr and X-ray crystallography) and their capacity to interfere with antigen presentation and immune signalling in a therapeutically useful way.