Professor McGuigan attended the Welsh Natural Products Networking meeting on 26th June. The event was organised by Prof Luis Mur (pictured below, right, and with Prof McGuigan, left). The group consists of a multi-disciplinary effort to identify novel anti-microbials from invasive plant species and microbes from extreme environments, and aims to develop links with the commercial sector. The event was joint funded by the NRN. There were 40 attendees which included Welsh Universities and commercial organisations.
A free one-day workshop with a networking evening dinner, funded by the BBSRC & National
Research Network (NRN), will be held in Aberystwyth on the 15th September 2014 to stimulate
research in anthelmintic discovery within Wales.
In March 2014 the Network launched the 2nd Studentship round. Some of the funded studentships include (PI and project title):
Prof Hoffmann, Increasing the selectivity and potency of a novel anthelmintic chemical entity.
Dr Westwell, Radiosynthesis of 18 F-labelled pro-nucleotides (ProTides) for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging.
Dr Moseley, Pharmaceutical evaluation of novel tiglianes as modulators of dermal fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation, scar formation and fibrosis; and elucidation of their underlying mechanisms of action.
Prof Mahenthiralingam, Development of vietnamycin: a novel Burkholderia antibiotic targeting mupirocin resistant methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Prof Mur, Identifying new antimicrobial drugs in microbes from extreme environments.
Prof Mur, Targeting natural products to counter the challenge of MRSA.
Dr Bugert, Biological evaluation of [L] ddBCNAs as novel cell-targeting antivirals.
Prof Allemann, An Innovative Approach to New Antimicrobial Drugs.
Dr Young, Structure-based design of human P2X4-selective small-molecule modulators.
Dr Pertusati, Diastereoselective Synthesis of Phosphoroamidate Prodrugs.
In February 2014 Life Sciences Research Network Wales launched a Postdoctoral project grant (fellowship) round. Project Grants are specifically aimed at allowing academics to undertake preliminary speculative research with the ultimate goal of providing the exemplification data to submit a major research application. The Network has confirmed funding to 11 research projects. These include (PI and title):
- Prof Jiang, Evaluation of Transglutaminase-4 as a therapeutic and target and diagnostic tool in human prostate cancer.
- Dr Bugert, Mechanism of action of [L] ddBCNAs as novel cell-targeting antivirals
- Dr Prokopovich, Nanocarrier controlled delivery of antibiotics from acrylic bone cement
- Prof. Clarke, Developing a stem-cell containing 3D culture model for pre-clinical studies of colorectal cancer therapeutics
- Dr Gwenin, Optimising cellular uptake of enzyme/gold-coated magnetic nanoparticle conjugates
- Dr Huws, Further prospecting and characterisation of novel antimicrobials from bovine metagenomes
- Prof. Conlan, Nanoparticle delivery of epigenetic modifiers: a targeted approach for Endometrial Cancer treatment.
- Prof. Dyson, Bacterial-mediated RNA interference as a new therapy to target advanced prostate cancer.
- Dr Fallis, Multi-Modal Theranostics (MMTs) – Towards Personalized Cancer Therapies
- Dr Cai, Targeting αB-crystallin (CRYAB): A possible novel strategy to impede triple-negative breast cancer growth
- Dr Jenkins, Development of human liver tissue models for drug safety assessment.
In January 2014 Life Sciences Research Network Wales launched a small grant round for sums of up to £3K designed to enhance collaboration around Wales and to pump prime potential collaboration and funding bids. Proposals are expected to involve more than one Welsh university and can be submitted at any time.