My group uses click chemistry to study biological systems at the molecular level. We develop and exploit powerful bond-forming click reactions that enable the rapid synthesis of small functional molecules, including cancer drugs and chemical probes. We apply these novel molecular tools in multidisciplinary discovery projects spanning the fields of biology and chemistry.
John Moses’ lab specializes in click chemistry, a powerful discovery method that relies upon the most robust chemical reactions to synthesize functional molecules. Small molecules are important because Nature’s machinery, including proteins, enzymes, and receptors, evolved to interact selectively with molecular ligands, similar to how a key fits a lock.
Using click chemistry, we create molecular probes for studying biological systems that may lead to new treatments for deadly diseases, including cancer. For example, we developed a new class of therapeutic DNA binding ligand that interacts selectively with telomeric regions of the genome involved in cellular maintenance. Several of these telomere binding ligands show remarkable selectivity and potency against cancer cells and tumours.
Further developing click chemistry, we recently described a discovery method called Diversity Oriented Clicking, which exploits a focussed group of reliable click chemistry reactions to achieve structural diversity. Our Diversity-Clicking approach led to the discovery of a new group of antibiotics with activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
Through the application of click chemistry, the Moses group is committed to developing Chemistry For Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Winner: 2021 Organic Division Horizon Prize: Robert Robinson Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Member of the American Chemical Society; 2019
Chartered Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (MRACI CChem); 2018
Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC); 2015
Thieme Chemistry Award; 2011
UK & ROI Lilly Award: Excellence in Organic Chemistry; 2011
King Saud University, Award; 2011
William Boland Award; University of Bath; 2001
F.M. Kirby Foundation donates $115K for chemistry research
October 12, 2021
The F.M. Kirby Foundation donated $115,000 to support CSHL Professor John E. Moses’ chemistry research.
Polymers “click” together using green chemistry
August 16, 2021
To build a new polymer using a type of green chemistry called “click chemistry,” chemists first had to tame a dangerous gas.
CSHL science tools at work: Rotovap
August 11, 2021
In the laboratory of John E. Moses, the rotating evaporator (rotovap) helps chemists purify the molecules they make.
June 8, 2021
Innovative research and educational activities never stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CSHL professor wins Horizon Prize in chemistry
June 7, 2021
CSHL Professor John E. Moses has been awarded the 2021 Horizon Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
CSHL Association holds its annual meeting
January 29, 2021
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Association welcomes four new directors and thanks three retiring ones.
Combining chemistry and biology at CSHL
October 1, 2020
Professor John Moses joins the CSHL faculty, specializing in the field of click chemistry.