Chemical Biology, Combinatorial Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
Research in the Hili group is inspired by nature and operates at the interface of chemistry and biology. Our efforts rely upon expertise in synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology to mimic the approaches nature uses to solve complex problems with simple solutions. Our approach to science requires a diverse background of researchers from various scientific disciplines, generating a collaborative atmosphere for students, while garnering an expanded knowledge of the biological and chemical sciences. Our inspiration from nature is the use of DNA as a central blueprint. In the Hili Group, the molecules that we study are directly generated and linked to a DNA fragment that encodes their structure (i.e., phenotype is linked to genotype). By harnessing the power of in vitro selection, coupled with advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing, we can rapidly analyze, en masse, libraries containing millions of different molecules and identify those with desired functional properties (e.g., molecular recognition or catalysis). We apply our technologies toward areas in organic synthesis and chemical biology, including drug discovery, small-molecule catalyst discovery, aptamer and antibody mimetics development, and cell-surface biomarker profiling.
Affiliated with the Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions (CRBI)