Skip to content

Dr. Helen Sheldrake,
Assistant Professor

Information about Dr. Helen Sheldrake at the University of Bradford.

School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
+44 1274 236858
Photo of Dr. Helen Sheldrake


Helen Sheldrake studied Natural Sciences followed by a PhD in natural product synthesis at the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral work at The University of Manchester, she joined the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, University of Bradford as a RCUK Academic Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry. She is now a Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, and School Health and Safety Lead.


New synthetic methods for biologically active/druglike molecules. Design and synthesis of integrin antagonists. Total synthesis. The integrins are a family of transmembrane receptors which mediate cell-cell and cell-ECM adhesion, and signalling across the cell membrane involved in pathways controlling cell migration, proliferation, differentiation, cell survival and apoptosis. In cancers, their vital role in the cross-talk between the cell and extracellular matrix enhances the growth, migration, invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. The RGD-binding subfamily of integrins are of particular interest as anticancer targets, since there is strong evidence that their expression in cancers is correlated with tumour progression, treatment resistance, and a cancer stem cell phenotype. Research areas currently under investigation include: - Synthesis and characterisation of new integrin targeting small molecules for the treatment of advanced cancers, particularly metastatic prostate cancer and malignant melanoma. - Development of personalised anti-integrin agents: Identification of the optimum combination of integrins to target for effective treatment of a particular tumour.- Investigation of combination therapies to combat integrin-mediated resistance to existing anticancer agents.Outside the integrin area, I am interested in the synthesis of biologically active natural products, and derivatives.If you are interested in applying for a PhD or postdoc in one of these areas, please contact me directly.

Research collaborators

Information about people or organisations that Dr. Helen Sheldrake collaborates with.
Name Company Country Type Role Theme Description
INTERNAL New applications of integrin modulating small molecules
INTERNAL Synthesis and characterisation of novel antibiotic prodrugs

Contract researchers

Information about contracted people or organisations that Dr. Helen Sheldrake works with.
Name Role Project Duration Funding body
Research Assistant Design, Synthesis and Applications of Chiral Cyclobutanes 2009-2011
Research Assistant Development of dual beta3 integrin antagonists as a novel anti-metastatic therapeutic for castration-resistant prostate cancer 2011-2012


Details on teaching interests, highlights and modules are available for Dr. Helen Sheldrake as follows:

Teaching interests

Current teaching activities:Phase Leader: head of Clinical Sciences BSc Years 1 + 2Module Leader: CLS3004-B Chemistry for Clinical Sciences, CLS5013-B Pharmacology and Therapeutics, CLS6001-B Clinical Pharmacology, LIS7022-B Critical Appraisal Lecturer: Principles of Drug Discovery; Case Studies in Drug Discovery; Preclinical Models for Drug Evaluation; Practical Skills in Research; Research projects; Personal tutor Clinical Sciences years 1-3Previous teaching highlights:Programme leader: MSc Cancer Pharmacology 2015-2019Lecturer: Biological Organic ChemistryPractical class leader: Chemistry for Engineers

Professional activities

Information about education, employment and areas of particular interest for Dr. Helen Sheldrake is as follows:


  • University of Bradford - RCUK Academic Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry in the year 2007 (specified as 01/01/2007)
  • The University of Manchester - Postdoctoral Research Associate in the year 2004 (specified as 01/01/2004)


  • University of Cambridge - MSci
  • University of Cambridge - PhD
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


There are 21 publications involving or that are attributed to Dr. Helen Sheldrake. They are listed as:

  • peer reviewed journal (16)
  • reviews (5)

Peer Reviewed Journal

Dr. Helen Sheldrake has 16 publication(s) listed under peer reviewed journal.
Title Year Publication name Journal Volume Pages Authors Editors ISSN Publisher DOI Location
Reduction of Propargylic Sulfones to (Z)-Allylic Sulfones using Zinc and Ammonium Chloride. 2007 Sheldrake, Helen M.; Wallace, T.W.
Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Cyclobutane-Based β3 Integrin Antagonists: A Novel Approach to Targeting Integrins for Cancer Therapy 2023 Cancers 15 Mark Sutherland, Andrew Gordon, Fatemah OFO Al-Shammari, Adam Throup, Amy Cilia La Corte, Helen Philippou, Steven D Shnyder, Laurence H Patterson, Helen M Sheldrake
Probing cytochrome P450 (CYP) bioactivation with chloromethylindoline bioprecursors derived from the duocarmycin family of compounds. 2021 Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 40 Ortuzar N;Karu K;Presa D;Morais GR;Sheldrake HM;Shnyder SD;Barnieh FM;Loadman PM;Patterson LH;Pors K;Searcey M; 1464-3391 10.1016/j.bmc.2021.116167
Exploration of [2 + 2 + 2] cyclotrimerisation methodology to prepare tetrahydroisoquinoline-based compounds with potential aldo-keto reductase 1C3 target affinity 2019 MedChemComm 10 1476 - 1480 Santos A.;Sheldrake H.;Ibrahim A.;Danta C.;Bonanni D.;Daga M.;Oliaro-Bosso S.;Boschi D.;Lolli M.;Pors K. 2040-2503 10.1039/c9md00201d
RGD-Binding Integrins in Head and Neck Cancers 2017 Ahmedah, H.T.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Sheldrake, Helen M.
Re-engineering of the Duocarmycin Structural Architecture Enables Bioprecursor Development Targeting CYP1A1 and CYP2W1 for Biological Activity 2013 Sheldrake, Helen M.; Travica, S.; Johansson, I.; Loadman, Paul M.; Sutherland, Mark H.; Elsalem, Lina M.I.; Illingworth, Nicola A.; Cresswell, Alexander J.; Reuillon, Tristan; Shnyder, Steven D.; Mkrtchian, S.; Searcey, M.; Ingelman-Sundberg, M.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Pors, Klaus
Strategies to inhibit tumour associated integrin receptors: rationale for dual and multi-antagonists 2014 Sheldrake, Helen M.; Patterson, Laurence H.
Solid-phase synthesis of duocarmycin analogues and the effect of C-terminal substitution on biological activity 2015 Stephenson, M.J.; Howell, L.A.; O'Connell, M.A.; Fox, K.R.; Adcock, C.; Kingston, J.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Pors, Klaus; Collingwood, S.P.; Searcey, M.
Intramolecular thermal stepwise [2 + 2] cycloadditions: investigation of a stereoselective synthesis of [n.2.0]-bicyclolactones 2016 Throup, Adam; Patterson, Laurence H.; Sheldrake, Helen M.
Colon cancer-specific cytochrome P450 2W1 converts duocarmycin analogues into potent tumor cytotoxins 2013 Travica, S.; Pors, Klaus; Loadman, Paul M.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Johansson, I.; Alandas, Mohammed N.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Mkrtchian, S.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Ingelman-Sundberg, M.
Antitumor activity of a duocarmycin analogue rationalized to be metabolically activated by cytochrome P450 1A1 in human transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder 2013 Sutherland, Mark H.; Gill, Jason H.; Loadman, Paul M.; Laye, Jonathan P.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Illingworth, Nicola A.; Alandas, Mohammed N.; Cooper, Patricia A.; Searcey, M.; Pors, Klaus; Shnyder, Steven D.; Patterson, Laurence H.
Modification of the duocarmycin pharmacophore enables CYP1A1 targeting for biological activity 2011 Pors, Klaus; Loadman, Paul M.; Shnyder, Steven D.; Sutherland, Mark H.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Guino, M.; Kiakos, K.; Hartley, J.A.; Searcey, M.; Patterson, Laurence H.
Chemical and Biological Explorations of the Family of CC-1065 and the Duocarmycin Natural Products. 2009 Ghosh, Nandita; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Searcey, M.; Pors, Klaus
Function and Antagonism of beta3 integrins in the development of cancer therapy 2009 Sheldrake, Helen M.; Patterson, Laurence H.
Synthesis of the originally proposed structure of elatenyne and an enyne from Laurencia majuscula 2009 Sheldrake, Helen M.; Jamieson, C.; Pascu, S.I.; Burton, J.W.
Rapid stereoselective access to the tetracyclic core of puupehenone and related sponge metabolites using metal-free radical cyclisations of cyclohexenyl-substituted 3-bromochroman-4-ones. 2008 Pritchard, R.P.; Sheldrake, Helen M.; Taylor, I.Z.; Wallace, T.W.


Dr. Helen Sheldrake has 5 publication(s) listed under reviews.
Title Year Publication name Journal Volume Pages Authors Editors ISSN Publisher DOI Location
Function and antagonism of β3 integrins in the development of cancer therapy 2009 Current Cancer Drug Targets 9 519 - 540 Sheldrake H.;Patterson L. 1568-0096 10.2174/156800909788486713
Chemical and biological explorations of the family of CC-1065 and the duocarmycin natural products 2009 Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 9 1494 - 1524 Ghosh N.;Sheldrake H.;Searcey M.;Pors K. 1568-0266 10.2174/156802609789909812
RGD-binding integrins in head and neck cancers 2017 Cancers 9 Ahmedah H.;Patterson L.;Shnyder S.;Sheldrake H. 2072-6694 10.3390/cancers9060056
RGD-binding integrins in prostate cancer: Expression patterns and therapeutic prospects against bone metastasis 2012 Cancers 4 1106 - 1145 Sutherland M.;Gordon A.;Shnyder S.;Patterson L.;Sheldrake H. 2072-6694 10.3390/cancers4041106
Strategies to inhibit tumor associated integrin receptors: Rationale for dual and multi-antagonists 2014 Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 57 6301 - 6315 Sheldrake H.;Patterson L. 0022-2623 10.1021/jm5000547