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Milan M. Fowkes

MChem (Warwick); MSc (Western); AMRSC

DPhil Student

Designing selective ADAMTS-5 substrates to detect and image proteinase activity in vivo


I did my undergraduate master's degree in Chemistry (MChem) at the University of Warwick (2007-2011), where I worked on a final year project involving radical cyclisations of N-alkenyl-N-2-bromobenzyl acetamides under the supervision of Dr. Andrew J. Clark.

I moved to Canada in 2012, and under the guidance of Dr. Leonard G. Luyt completed a two-year MSc in Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario with a specialisation in molecular imaging. During that time, I developed a peptidomimetic ghrelin-receptor agonist for the purpose of PET imaging of prostate cancer.

Having developed a strong interest in molecular imaging, I began working as a research assistant on a collaborative project between the Kennedy Institute (Dr. Ngee Han Lim) and Target Discovery Institute (Professor Paul E. Brennan) at the University of Oxford in 2015. This involved synthesising a series of radiopaque peptides for imaging cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis.

I began my DPhil in October 2016, and my current research focuses on designing selective ADAMTS-5 substrates to detect and image ADAMTS-5 proteinase activity in vivo. As part of this project, I spent 7 months (2018-2019) at the University of Copenhagen under the direct supervision of Professor Morten Meldal. I am currently supervised by Dr. Ngee Han Lim and Professor Tonia L. Vincent (Kennedy) as well as Professor Paul E. Brennan (TDI).

Research interests

The application of peptide chemistry towards the development of molecular imaging probes for disease diagnosis and monitoring.

General interests: peptide chemistry, enzyme kinetics, combinatorial chemistry, biochemistry and computational modelling