Dist Prof Bill Alexander Denny



Trained at Auckland and Oxford Universities as a medicinal chemist/drug designer. Co-founding scientist of Proacta Therapeutics, and co-PI in the Centre for Molecular Bioscience, University of Auckland. Past-President of the NZ Society for Oncology and the NZ Institute of Chemistry. Rutherford Medallist of the Royal Society of NZ, and Adrian Albert Medallist of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry. Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to cancer research.

Bill leads the Medicinal Chemistry Group at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre.

Research interests

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Stevenson, R. J., Azimi, I., Flanagan, J. U., Inserra, M., Vetter, I., Monteith, G. R., & Denny, W. A. (2018). An SAR study of hydroxy-trifluoromethylpyrazolines as inhibitors of Orai1-mediated store operated Ca2+ entry in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells using a convenient Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader assay. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 26 (12), 3406-3413. 10.1016/j.bmc.2018.05.012
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ralph Stevenson
  • Choi, P., Noguchi, K., Ishiyama, M., Denny, W. A., & Jose, J. (2018). A mitochondria-selective near-infrared-emitting fluorescent dye for cellular imaging studies. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 28 (11), 2013-2017. 10.1016/j.bmcl.2018.05.001
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jiney Jose, Peter Choi
  • Sutherland, H. S., Tong, A. S. T., Choi, P. J., Conole, D., Blaser, A., Franzblau, S. G., ... Denny, W. A. (2018). Structure-activity relationships for analogs of the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline with the naphthalene unit replaced by bicyclic heterocycles. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 26 (8), 1797-1809. 10.1016/j.bmc.2018.02.026
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Choi, Adrian Blaser, Brian Palmer, Hamish Sutherland
  • Hamiaux, C., Drummond, R. S. M., Luo, Z., Lee, H. W., Sharma, P., Janssen, B. J., ... Snowden, K. C. (2018). Inhibition of strigolactone receptors by N-phenylanthranilic acid derivatives: Structural and functional insights. The Journal of biological chemistry, 293 (17), 6530-6543. 10.1074/jbc.ra117.001154
  • Thompson, A. M., O'Connor PD, Marshall, A. J., Blaser, A., Yardley, V., Maes, L., ... Chatelain, E. (2018). Development of (6 R)-2-Nitro-6-[4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenoxy]-6,7-dihydro-5 H-imidazo[2,1- b][1,3]oxazine (DNDI-8219): A New Lead for Visceral Leishmaniasis. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 61 (6), 2329-2352. 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01581
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Adrian Blaser, Andrew Thompson
  • Zafar, A., Pilkington, L. I., Haverkate, N. A., van Rensburg, M., Leung, E., Kumara, S., ... Hoskins, C. (2018). Investigation into Improving the Aqueous Solubility of the Thieno[2,3-b]pyridine Anti-Proliferative Agents. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23 (1).10.3390/molecules23010145
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Johannes Reynisson, Ayesha Zafar, Lisa Pilkington, Natalie Haverkate, David Barker, Euphemia Leung, Sisira Kumara
  • Thompson, A. M., Marshall, A. J., Maes, L., Yarlett, N., Bacchi, C. J., Gaukel, E., ... Chatelain, E. (2018). Assessment of a pretomanid analogue library for African trypanosomiasis: Hit-to-lead studies on 6-substituted 2-nitro-6,7-dihydro-5H-imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]thiazine 8-oxides. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 28 (2), 207-213. 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.10.067
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Thompson
  • Thompson, A. M., Bonnet, M., Lee, H. H., Franzblau, S. G., Wan, B., Wong, G. S., ... Denny, W. A. (2017). Antitubercular nitroimidazoles revisited: Synthesis and activity of the authentic 3-Nitro isomer of pretomanid. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 8 (12), 1275-1280. 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.7b00356
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Thompson, Ho Lee

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 1, Room 140
New Zealand