The degree is the first of its kind in the country, fulfilling a need to provide graduates with skills in the chemistry and biology of cancer, and direct experience of some of the very latest research in the field.
The course will cover new approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment and involve the design and synthesis of small molecule cancer drugs, equipping graduates for employment in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia.
The pioneering degree has been developed by Dr. Paul Jenkins from the Department of Chemistry, who has research expertise in the development of chemotherapeutic drugs.
He said “I think that this unique course will equip graduates to take part in the exciting and rewarding field of anti-cancer drug development. It will explain the biological pathways involved in cancer and how to design non-toxic small molecules to intervene specifically in these pathways to produce the next generation of cancer drugs.”
The main issue with cancer chemotherapy at the moment is that it is based on selective toxicity of the cancer drug for the tumour cells. This selectivity is never perfect and the treatments have considerable side effects.
One of the newest cancer drugs is Gleevec which is a specific non toxic inhibitor of a key protein in a cancer control pathway. Future developments will involve drugs of this type.
Leicester is a national centre for clinical research in the field of cancer. The Chemistry Department is conducting research funded by CRUK to develop non-toxic inhibitors of a key check-point enzyme in the cell division process.
In cancer cells, growth is very rapid and one way to combat this is to stop cells dividing by specific inhibition of the enzymes that control the cell cycle. “Our results have been encouraging” said Dr. Jenkins, “and two of our researchers will present results at a medicinal chemistry conference in Lille later this year.”
The degree is aimed at graduates in chemistry or a related discipline and non-graduates with appropriate experience. Cancer Research UK has supplied three bursaries covering fees and stipend for UK and EEA students taking the MSc in Cancer Chemistry.
Ather Mirza | alfa
Nerves control the body’s bacterial community
26.09.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Ageless ears? Elderly barn owls do not become hard of hearing
26.09.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
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26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology