Researchers in Ireland, the UK and US have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. “itaconate” – a molecule derived from glucose – “acts as a powerful off switch for macrophages”, thereby reducing inflammation. The discovery published in Nature offers more effective treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease. Roman Fischer and Benedikt Kessler from the Target Discovery Institute (TDI) participated in this study.
A free one day symposium, to be held on 20 April 2018, Medical Sciences Training Centre, Oxford and organised by the Postdoctoral Training Fellows at MRC Harwell Institute. The theme is the influence of genetics and genetic regulation in modelling human disease – from molecular through cellular to whole animal level and encompassing developmental, environmental and behavioural interactions. Register here to attend for free.
Health Data Research UK is awarding £30 million funding to six sites across the UK, including the University of Oxford, to address challenging healthcare issues through use of data science. Professor Martin Landray, Director of the Health Data Research UK Oxford site said: 'We are delighted that the Big Data Institute at University of Oxford will play a major part in Health Data Research UK. This exciting endeavour brings new opportunities to understand the causes of disease and to develop new treatments with substantial benefits for patients and public health.'
Congratulations to Professor Chas Bountra, Professor of Translational Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, who has been appointed OBE for services to Translational Medical Research in the New Year's Honours List 2018. Congratulations also to
Dr Jake Dunning, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow in Tropical Medicine (ERGO) who has been appointed MBE for services to Clinical Research.
Professor Chas Bountra, Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines and Chief Scientist at the Structural Genomics Consortium, explains why a new approach to drug discovery and development is needed to address the urgent need for new drugs. In a new study, ‘A New Pharmaceutical Commons: Transforming Drug Discovery’, with colleagues, Dr Wen Hwa Lee, and Dr Javier Lezaun, call for ‘open science’ approaches to drug discovery and offer ways forward that would transform how the medical challenges of this century could be addressed more efficiently.
A multi-disciplinary research team from the Universities of Oxford, MRC LMB, Liverpool, Cancer Research UK and pharma (Forma Therapeutics) has performed structural studies of USP7 inhibitor-enzyme interactions, demonstrating that ubiquitin-specific proteases (USPs) are tractable drug targets for cancer and also other diseases. Professor Benedikt Kessler and Dr Adan Pinto-Fernandez from Oxford’s Target Discovery Institute were part of this study.
The Royal Society has awarded Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe, Director of the Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford and Clinical Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute, with the Buchanan Medal for his ground-breaking research on oxygen sensing and signalling pathways mediating cellular responses to low oxygen levels or 'hypoxia'.
p53 is one of the most damaged genes in cancer. Because p53 stays inside the cells, it is not straightforward to identify and kill the cells with damaged p53. Now we have developed an antibody that recognises a p53 fragment presented on cancer cell surface and we show that this antibody is a promising new drug for cancer immunotherapy.
World Cancer Day takes place on February 4 each year. NDM researchers are trying to understand the epidemiology and potential causes of cancer, its effect on patient lives and outcomes, as well as the basic science underpinning the unregulated cell growth that is the hallmark of the disease. To mark World Cancer Day 2017, NDM has asked some of our cancer scientists about their research.
The burden caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias represents one of the biggest problems for our healthcare systems. The last medicine was approved in 2002 and today we only have symptomatic treatments. ARUK-ODDI brings together chemists, biologist, psychiatrists and neuroscientists, many of them with pharmaceutical background, aiming to accelerate the discovery of novel and effective treatments, as explained by Dr John Davis.