Mu.Ta.Lig - COST ACTION CA15135

Dr. Florence MCCARTHY

14 June 2016


General information

Name: McCarthy
Surname: Florence
Cell phone number with international prefix: +353 87 9218894
Country: Ireland
Affiliation: University College Cork
Gender: F □ M x
Year of the PhD title: 2001
Personal web page:
Previous COST participation: No x Yes


List of 10 selected publications within last 5 years

1. E.G. Russell, J. Guo, E.C. O’Sullivan, C.M. O’Driscoll, F.O. McCarthy, T.G. Cotter (2016) ‘7-Formyl-10-methylisoellipticine, a novel ellipticine derivative, induces mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and shows anti-leukaemic activity in mice’. Investigational New Drugs, 34 (1):15-23
2. Lehouritis, P. Stanton, M. McCarthy, F. O. Jeavons, M. Tangney, M. (2016) ‘Activation of multiple chemotherapeutic prodrugs by the natural enzymolome of tumour-localised probiotic bacteria’. Journal of Controlled Release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, 222 :9-17
3. H.F. Schött, C. Husche, S. Friedrichs, C.M. Miller, F.O. McCarthy, U. Laufs, J. Plat, O. Weingärtner, D. Lütjohann (2015) ‘7β-Hydroxysitosterol crosses the blood-brain barrier more favored than its substrate sitosterol in ApoE -/-mice’. Steroids, 99 (Part B):178-182
4. E.G. Russell, E.C. O’Sullivan, C.M. Miller, J. Stanicka, F.O. McCarthy, T.G. Cotter (2014) ‘Ellipticine derivative induces potent cytostatic effect in acute myeloid leukaemia cells’. Investigational New Drugs, 32 (6):1113-1122
5. O’Callaghan Y, Kenny O, O’Connell NM, Maguire AR, McCarthy FO, O’Brien NM (2013) ‘Synthesis and assessment of the relative toxicity of the oxidised derivatives of campesterol and dihydrobrassicasterol in U937 and HepG2 cells’. Biochimie, 95 (3):496-503
6. F. M. Deane, E. C. O’Sullivan, A. R. Maguire, J. Gilbert, J. A. Sakoff, A. McCluskey and F. O. McCarthy (2013) ‘Synthesis and evaluation of novel Ellipticines as potential anti-cancer agents’. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 11 (8):1334-1344
7. L. T. Pierce, M. M. Cahill, H. J. Winfield and F. O. McCarthy (2012) ‘Synthesis and identification of novel indolo[2,3-a]pyrimido[5,4-c]carbazoles as a new class of anti-cancer agents’. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 56 :292-300
8. N. M. O’Connell, Y. C. O’Callaghan, N. M. O’Brien, A. R. Maguire and F. O. McCarthy (2012) ‘Synthetic routes to Campesterol and Dihydrobrassicasterol: a first reported synthesis of the key phytosterol Dihydrobrassicasterol’. Tetrahedron, 68 (25):4995-5004
9. C. M. Miller, E. C. O’Sullivan, K. J. Devine and F. O. McCarthy (2012) ‘Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Isoellipticine Derivatives and Salts’. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 10 (39):7912-7921
10. L. T. Pierce, M. M. Cahill and F. O. McCarthy (2011) ‘Synthesis of novel 3,4-diaryl-5-aminopyrazoles as potential kinase inhibitors’. Tetrahedron, 67 (25):4601-4611


Main skills and expertise (up to 5)

1. Drug Design
2. Medicinal Chemistry
3. Organic Synthesis
4. Gel electrophoresis
5.Mass spectrometry


Main equipment/facilities available in the participants’ lab (up to 5)

1. Complete synthetic laboratory with all the equipment for modern organic synthesis
2. Gel electrophoresis for biological evaluation
3. Mass spectrometers (TOF and triple quadrupole)
4. Microwave synthesizer
5. PXRD and single crystal X-ray diffraction



Short personal activity proposal for the COST Action CA15135 (max 1000 characters)

Dr. Florence McCarthy leads a team of researchers in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry investigating the synthesis and evaluation of diverse bioactive molecules from steroids to complex heterocycles.


Our objective is the development of novel molecules for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and HIV. Lead compounds are devised, synthesised and taken forward (both in-house and in collaboration) toward biological evaluation in enzymes, cells and in vivo. This drug discovery approach has so far yielded many highly cited publications concerning the synthesis of novel heterocycles and the relationship of these compounds to biological phenomena.


Current research themes include:

Indole and carbazoles and their heterocyclic variants as polypharmacological agents.

Ellipticine derivatives and their mechanism of anticancer effect.

Erb B, Wee 1, and Chk 1 kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.

Phytosterols and the toxicity of their oxygenated products.

Other areas include novel heterocycle formation, the development of probes for new biological targets, applications of mass spectrometry to medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical processes.



Work Group preference: score from 1 (preferred) to 4 (not preferred)

Work Group of the CA15135 COST Action Score
WG1: Development of new chemical entities 1
WG2: Selection of biological targets and assessment of biological data 3
WG3: Development of chemical databases 2
WG4: Development of Computational methods for multiple ligand design and discovery 4