Edinburgh Cancer Research

Alison Hulme (Affiliate)

Synthesis and Chemical Biology

Professor Alison Hulme

Research in a Nutshell

Alison is a Professor of Synthesis and Chemical Biology in the School of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and President of the Organic Division Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2016-19). Her research focuses on the synthesis and chemical biology/ medicinal chemistry applications of natural products. Past and current targets for her group include the pyrrolidine antibiotic anisomycin which activates the stress kinase pathways, a known cancer therapeutic target; the marine natural product bisebromoamide which has been shown to induce apoptosis through ERK and mTOR inhibition in renal cancer cells; and disorazole C1 which binds to tubulin at a site which is orthogonal to both taxol and vinca alkaloid anti-cancer drugs. Her group is also interested in the design and synthesis of stapled peptides, targeting the disruption of protein-protein interactions of the oncogenic protein MDM2 using this novel class of potential therapeutics, and the development of new methods to visualise drugs within cells and tumours. She collaborates with groups within the Edinburgh Cancer Centre (Ball, Brunton, Carragher, Hupp) and internationally to develop potential therapeutic leads.


Research Programme



Alison Hulme Principal Investigator and Senior Lecturer
Dr Alessio de Simone Postdoc
Dr Will Tipping Postdoc
Alisia Sim PhD student
Christopher Allan PhD student
Sally Vanden-Hehir  PhD student
Kristel Sepp PhD student
Alan Zhao PhD student
Marie Bluntzer PhD student
Hector Yiannakas PhD student
Jialin Cao MSc student




  • Professor Kathryn Ball, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Val Brunton, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Neil Carragher, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Ted Hupp, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Marc Dweck, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Patrick Haddoke, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Tilo Kunath, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Julien Michel, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Philipp Voigt, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Rory Duncan, Heriot-Watt University

Partners and Funders

  • Cancer Research UK
  • UCB Pharma Ltd
  • Leica Biosystems


Scientific Themes

Bioorthogonal reactions, protein-protein interactions, cancer medicinal chemistry, small molecule imaging.

Technology Expertise

CuAAC and thiol-ene click reactions, metathesis chemistry, stapled peptides, site-specific protein labelling, affinity chromatography, spectroscopically bioorthogonal Raman labels.