This summer the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology is hosting 5 undergraduate students from Shandong University, Jinan, to carry out 8 week research placements. The 5 students (left to right) Ziyu Zeng, Liguo Wang, Shiyu Zhou, Yafei Yu, and Xiaowen Ma, were selected on the basis of their academic record and an interview to participate in the Vacation Studentship Scheme. They are carrying out projects in the research groups of Drs Ian Eggleston, Matthew Lloyd, Ian Blagbrough and Amanda Mackenzie, and Prof Randy Mrsny in Pharmacy & Pharmacology , and in collaboration with other laboratories in the Faculty of Science. This is the fifth year that the Department has hosted a group of students from Shandong, through this scheme coordinated by the University International Relations Office and English Language Centre, with support from the Faculty of Science.
The latest paper from the research group of Matthew Lloyd and colleagues, looking at the processing of a chemical called mandelic acid. Mandelic acid, an alpha-hydroxyacid, is used in the cosmetics industry in chemical skin peels.
Mandelic acid exists as two different mirror image forms (known as the R- and S- enantiomers). In humans and other mammals it has been known for a long time that S-mandelic acid is converted into R-mandelic acid but not vice versa. Other workers proposed that this process was carried out by the same pathway that performs a similar transformation with anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen. This latest paper investigates this proposal and shows that mandelic acid is not processed by the same pathway as Ibuprofen.
The paper is the first from the work of Maksims Yevglevskis on this project, who is in the final stages of his PhD in the Department. Three of the other authors, Cat Bowskill, Chloe Chan and Justin Heng, performed work reported in this paper as part of their final year project (2012-13) for their Masters in Pharmacy degree.
The paper can be found at:
Wing Chiu, PhD student, has now won two major prizes for a poster titled:
Visualising drug delivery to the nail with confocal and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy
Authors: Wing Sin Chiu, Natalie A. Belsey, Natalie L. Garrett, Julian J. Moger, Gareth J. Price, M. Begoña Delgado-Charro, Richard H. Guy
The prizes are:
1) APS Industrial Insights 2014
16th-17th April 2014, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Cheshire
2) Skin forum 13th Annual Meeting
25-26 June 2013, UCL School of Pharmacy, London
Wing is co-supervised by Begona Delgado-Charro (P&P), Richard Guy (P&P) and Gareth Price (Chemistry).
Over £4000 Raised for Cancer Research
Prof. Mike Threadgill (PI) and Dr. Amit Nathubhai (Co-PI) have been awarded a grant from the charity, AICR (Association of International Cancer Research) to support their research towards the inhibition of Tankyrase and its link to cancer. They have recently supported a fund raising event called “Smarty Pants” created by AICR. Students from the University of Bath including those from the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (Olivia Stillwagon and Simon Underwood), as well as Dr Amit Nathubhai and Prof. Mike Threadgill took part in an abseiling event down a 200ft descent off the Avon Gorge. Over £4000 has been raised.
Please see the following links below for recent publications, Smarty Pants twitter feed and to donate through just giving.com
* * Donate **
Amit Nathubhai poses for the camera in his Smarty-Pants
A PhD student in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Robin Wickens has won the Pharmidex Poster prize at the British Pharmacological Society's meeting "Pharmacology 2013" held in December.
Robin presented his poster "Lipopolysaccharide regulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and proIL-1b under normoxic versus hypoxic conditions in cultured (BV-2) mouse microglia".
Robin is working on a project to investigate the role of inflammasome signalling in mediating depression-related behaviours in mice. As a first step in his project, Robin has challenged cultured microglial cells with lipopolysaccharide, a component of bacterial cell walls, under conditions which mimic oxygen availability in the brain. He has found that NLRP3 inflammasome signalling in microglia, in response to LPS, is oxygen sensitive, with 5 % O2 resulting in reduced levels of cytosolic NLRP3 and proIL-1β (compared to 20 % O2). Robin is supervised by Amanda Mackenzie and Sarah Bailey and the project is funded by an MRC CASE Studentship in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutica.
Dr. Sarah Bailey
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology are exploring the use of natural compounds, in particular those obtained from daffodils called pancratistatin and narciclasine, for the treatment of cancer. These natural products exhibit potent anti-cancer activities and show great promise, however their availability is very limited.
At present, synthesis of these natural products is also very difficult and laborious, hindering future drug development. However, Dr Lorenzo Caggiano and his research group have developed and published new synthetic methodology which gives ready access to derivatives of these compounds. They are currently using this methodology to generate new compounds based on pancratistatin and narciclasine, which are much easier to make than the natural products themselves yet retain their potent anti-cancer activity.
For further information listen to Dr Lorenzo Caggiono talking to BBC Radio Bristol:
The Biochemical Society and Portland Press Limited have created a themed collection of papers and resources about Drug Discovery http://www.biochemistry.org/Publications/Journals/DrugDiscovery.aspx that will be freely available for three months. This collection of papers brings together recent work across the cellular and molecular life sciences and highlights the range and breadth of approaches that researchers are employing. Along with this there will be a Biochemical Journal one day symposium on this topic:
Biochemical Journal Symposium 2014
Human Therapeutics: Where Biology Meets Chemistry
20 March 2014
Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, London, UK
Monday December 16 2013: 13h30 – 17h30 in 5W 2.3
Dr. Ricardo Resende
A show-case of the research in the Faculty of Science, with a focus on Pharmacy and Pharmacology, as well as a taste of research from Chemistry and Biology and Biochemistry colleagues. The event included:
- Posters and conversation in the foyer on level 2
- Presentations in the adjacent lecture theatre
- Wine reception and networking
The Dean of Science, Professor David Bird, opened the proceedings. He stressed the importance of events where different departments in the Faculty of Science come together and the importance of interdepartmental collaboration in research.
The afternoon consisted of two sessions of presentations from across the Faculty, as shown in the programme below. Work was presented and showcased by early career researchers, including senior PhD students and postdocs.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor closed the proceedings, and subsequently announced the winners of the prizes for best oral and poster presentations:
- Best oral presentation went to Ms Wing Sin Chiu, “Application of label-free, stimulated Raman scattering microscopy to the investigation of drug delivery to the nail from nanoparticles”. The prize was announced by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Prof Jane Millar and was given by Ms Jasmin Loo, representative of BMGLabtech, sponsoring the award.
- Best poster presentation went to Dr Gerta Cami-Kobeci, “Naltrexone esters as a new therapeutic treatment for drug abuse”. The prize was announced by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Prof Jane Millar and was given by Mrs Maria Connolly, representative of BathASU, sponsoring the award.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, and look forward to the next Interdepartmental Research Afternoon in the Faculty of Science.
Session chaired by Prof Stephen Husbands
13h30 – 13h45 Welcome by Prof David Bird, Dean of the Faculty of Science
13h45 – 14h00 Redox-dependent stimulation of blood vessel formation by nucleoside derivatives, Dr Dina Vara
14h00 – 14h15 Microparticle cell carriers as building blocks for tissue engineering, Ms Kim Luetchford
14h15 – 14h30 Investigating and exploiting the physiology of industrial microbes, Dr Jeremy Bartosiak-Jentys
14h30 – 14h45 hPepT1 – A potential strategy to treat chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer,Ms Ana Cravo
14h45 – 15h00 “You can’t take your eye off the ball”.A mixed methods study of community pharmacists’ workload and the impact this has on patient safety, Dr Hannah Family
15h00 – 15h15 Bio-E – Boosting interdisciplinary research in the Southwest and South Wales, Dr Alison Evans
15h15 – 15h45 Coffee Break
Session chaired by Prof Richard Guy
A few words regarding Athena SWAN and Public Engagement, Dr Sarah Bailey
15h45 – 16h00 The impact of pharmaceutical analysis outcome of street crack samples on users behavior, Mr Mohammad Zaher Shehab
16h00 – 16h15 CVD graphene: promising platform for enzyme immobilization towards noninvasive glucose sensing, Mr Bertrand Dupont
16h15 – 16h30 Bacterial mediated lysis of lipid vesicles - Implications for smart wound dressings, Mr Maisem Laabei
16h30 – 16h45 Polymeric Electrospun Mats for Controlled Antibiotic Delivery, Ms Nour Alhusein
16h45 – 17h00 Application of label-free, stimulated Raman scattering microscopy to the investigation of drug delivery to the nail from nanoparticles, Ms Wing Sin Chiu
17h00 – 17h15 What RDSO can do for you and your research? Dr Philip Brown
17h15 – Poster session, wine, nibbles and prize announcements by Prof Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)