Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Life Sciences Research Network Congress brings together Wales’ finest Drug Discovery Researchers.

22 Tachwedd 2017

The Life Sciences Research Network Wales is part of the Welsh Government’s £50 million Sêr Cymru programme aimed at building research capacity within Wales.

As part of this initiative, the Welsh Government established three research Networks addressing the Grand Challenges of:

  • Life sciences and health
  • Advanced engineering and materials
  • Low carbon, energy and environment

The Life Science Research Network Wales is based in Cardiff University and led by Professor Andrea Brancale. This initiative was supported by a grant of £7.3m from the Sêr Cymru programme and HEFCW and aims to discover and develop new drugs in areas of unmet medical need.

The Network brings together leading academics from Aberystwyth, Bangor Cardiff, and Swansea Universities and has supported over 131 new research projects.  The Network works closely with a number of industry partners, the NHS and other major funding bodies and has a strong focus on its links to other funders, such as the Life Sciences Bridging Fund who support a pathway to potential commercialisation of the outputs of academic research for ultimate patient benefit. In its fourth year, the Network has supported a range of activities including PhD students, individual research projects and platform technologies at universities across Wales. These researchers are developing the next generation of drugs to tackle major societal health issues such as:

  • Cancer
  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

The Scientific Drug Discovery Congress takes place on 29th to 30th November 2017 at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff. Congress is an opportunity for students and leading academics from across Wales to highlight their research and discuss the challenges faced in developing the next generation of therapeutics. The event will be attended by a number of leading researchers whose work has successfully led to commercialisation, as well industry representatives with substantial experience in the journey through the drug development pathway.

This year, the Network is delighted to welcome the following key-note speakers to Congress: Professor Simon Ward, Co-Director of the newly established Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University – the goal of the Institute is to translate the University’s world-leading scientific understanding of disease mechanisms into novel therapeutic approaches to address disease where there remains a significant unmet medical need; Dr Edgar Hartsuiker, Senior Lecturer in Cancer Biology and Chair of the North-West Cancer Research Institute at Bangor University, who will be addressing the exploitation of DNA repair defects for personalised cancer treatment; Hugh Young Rienhoff, Chief Executive Officer of Imago BioSciences, Clinical Scientist and entrepreneur, who will be providing an insight into an entrepreneur’s journey; Professor B. Paul Morgan, Director of the Systems Immunity Research at Cardiff University, who will address therapeutic targeting of the complement system.

Professor Brancale, the Scientific Director of the Network said: “the level of engagement with the Network, from academics has been immense so far. We have seen over 419 new drug discovery projects submitted for review – and we have supported over 131 projects. The Network is making a real difference by focusing funding on potentially high impact research and supporting the discovery of novel potential therapeutics."

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