Murtaza completed his PhD at the University of Toronto at Patrick Gunning’s lab and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Nathanael Gray’s lab at Stanford. During his PhD, Murtaza developed some of the most potent and selective HDAC8 inhibitors in literature, using conformationally constrained benzamides to complement the unique HDAC8 pocket. His current research focuses on expanding current pharmacological tools to target the undruggable proteome. One example of this involves exploring the potential for trans-labelling molecules. Based on the JQ1 scaffold, Murtaza developed MMH1 and MMH2, that bind BRD4 non-covalently, but covalently trans-label DCAF16 (an E3 ligase), leading to the targeted nanomolar degradation of BRD4. Apart from science, Murtaza loves to learn new languages, and stay physically active with basketball, parkour, acrobatics, and calisthenics.