Dr Peter Jaein Choi

BSc(hons) PhD in Chemistry, University of Auckland

Biography

Dr Peter Choi obtained his BSc (Hons) in medicinal chemistry and PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Auckland with Distinguished Professor Dame Margaret Brimble. After completion of his PhD, Peter was appointed as a research fellow working with Distinguished Professor Bill Denny and Associate Professor Brian Palmer at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre as a medicinal chemist to design and synthesise novel drugs for tuberculosis. He is an affiliate investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery at the University of Auckland.

Research | Current

  • My research specialty is the design and chemical synthesis of potential drug candidates for infectious diseases and cancer therapy. 
  • I provide medicinal chemistry expertise to a multi-disciplinary drug discovery project with the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development for the development of novel drugs for tuberculosis. Two drugs (TBAJ-587 and TBAJ-876) from this collaboration entered phase 1 human clinical trials in 2020. Various other projects are ongoing with the TB Alliance including targeting novel kinases specific for the survival of TB.

https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/sms/about/our-departments/auckland-cancer-society-research-centre/research-groups/medicinal-chemistry/targeting-tb.html

  • I am also involved in the development of novel cancer drugs for targeted cancer therapy using cyanine dyes with focus on compounds with selective activity against solid tumours.
  • Any potential chemistry interns/students interested in working at the ACSRC, please contact Peter

Teaching | Current

  • MEDSCI 319- Molecular Pharmacology (Lecturer)
  • MEDSCI 745- Drug Development (Lecturer)
  • MEDSCI 700- Drug Discovery Biology (Lecturer)
  • CHEM 750/751- Cancer drugs: Design, Chemistry and Mechanism of Action (Module coordinator and Lecturer)

Postgraduate supervision

Current members

  • 2021-: Christine Kim (PhD, main supervisor)
  • 2020-: Elizabeth Cooper (PhD, co-supervisor)
  • 2021: Anna Cullen (BSc (Hons), co-supervisor)

Past members

  • 2019: Elizabeth Cooper (BSc (Hons), co-supervisor)
  • 2018: Ben Maloney (Summer studentship, co-supervisor)
  • 2018: Elizabeth Cooper (Summer studentship, co-supervisor)
  • 2018- Tina Shaban (Northern Hemisphere Summer studentship, co-supervisor) 

 

Distinctions/Honours

  • 2020, Keith & Meida Hepburn Young Scientist of the Year, Cancer Society Auckland/Northland.
  • 2017, “Most translatable Prize” from Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases Symposium in Queenstown Research Week.
  • 2007-2011, University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship.
  • 2006, University of Auckland Postgraduate Tuition Fees Bursaries.
  • 2005-2006, Summer Studentship, Chemistry Department, University of Auckland.
  • 2003, University of Auckland Access Award.

Areas of expertise

Organic Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry

Natural Products

Antituberculosis Agents

Drug Discovery

 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2020-present, Maurice Wilkins Infectious diseases investigator specialty in tuberculosis.

  • 2019-present, Council member of Korean Academy of Scientists and Engineers in Australasia (KASEA).

  • 2018-present, Head of Department nominee (chemistry) for University of Auckland doctoral oral examinations.

  • 2018-present, Member of the American Chemical Society.

  • 2018-present, Member of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

  • 2017-present, Independent chair for University of Auckland doctoral oral examinations.

  • 2014-present, Member of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr).

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Lu, G.-L., Tong, A. S. T., Conole, D., Sutherland, H. S., Choi, P. J., Franzblau, S. G., ... Denny, W. A. (2020). Synthesis and structure-activity relationships for tetrahydroisoquinoline-based inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 28 (22)10.1016/j.bmc.2020.115784
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Leon Lu, Bill Denny
  • Choi, P. J., Park, T. I. H., Cooper, E., Dragunow, M., Denny, W. A., & Jose, J. (2020). Heptamethine Cyanine Dye Mediated Drug Delivery: Hype or Hope. Bioconjugate chemistry, 31 (7), 1724-1739. 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.0c00302
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bill Denny, Jiney Jose, Thomas Park
  • Choi, P. J., Cooper, E., Schweder, P., Mee, E., Turner, C., Faull, R., ... Jose, J. (2020). PARP inhibitor cyanine dye conjugate with enhanced cytotoxic and antiproliferative activity in patient derived glioblastoma cell lines. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 30 (14)10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127252
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bill Denny, Michael Dragunow, Thomas Park, Jiney Jose, Richard Faull
  • Choi, P. J., Conole, D., Sutherland, H. S., Blaser, A., Tong, A. S. T., Cooper, C. B., ... Denny, W. A. (2020). Synthetic Studies to Help Elucidate the Metabolism of the Preclinical Candidate TBAJ-876-A Less Toxic and More Potent Analogueof Bedaquiline. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25 (6).10.3390/molecules25061423
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Adrian Blaser, Bill Denny, Brian Palmer
  • Sutherland, H. S., Tong, A. S. T., Choi, P. J., Blaser, A., Franzblau, S. G., Cooper, C. B., ... Palmer, B. D. (2020). Variations in the C-unit of bedaquiline provides analogues with improved biology and pharmacology. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 28 (1)10.1016/j.bmc.2019.115213
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Adrian Blaser, Bill Denny, Brian Palmer
  • Choi, P. J., Cooper, E., Schweder, P., Mee, E., Faull, R., Denny, W. A., ... Jose, J. (2019). The synthesis of a novel Crizotinib heptamethine cyanine dye conjugate that potentiates the cytostatic and cytotoxic effects of Crizotinib in patient-derived glioblastoma cell lines. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 29 (18), 2617-2621. 10.1016/j.bmcl.2019.07.051
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Thomas Park, Richard Faull, Bill Denny, Michael Dragunow, Jiney Jose
  • Blaser, A., Sutherland, H. S., Tong, A. S. T., Choi, P. J., Conole, D., Franzblau, S. G., ... Denny, W. A. (2019). Structure-activity relationships for unit C pyridyl analogues of the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 27 (7), 1283-1291. 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.02.025
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bill Denny, Adrian Blaser, Brian Palmer
  • Sutherland, H. S., Tong, A. S. T., Choi, P. J., Blaser, A., Conole, D., Franzblau, S. G., ... Denny, W. A. (2019). 3,5-Dialkoxypyridine analogues of bedaquiline are potent antituberculosis agents with minimal inhibition of the hERG channel. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 27 (7), 1292-1307. 10.1016/j.bmc.2019.02.026
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bill Denny, Brian Palmer, Adrian Blaser

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 1, Room 130
85 PARK RD
GRAFTON
AUCKLAND 1023
New Zealand

Web links