The School's global reputation for research excellence has enabled us to forge important strategic partnerships and attract inward investment from industrial collaborators as well as create new high-growth life sciences spin-out companies.
This has had significant local impacts, stimulating the emergence of a regional life sciences cluster which makes a major contribution to the Tay Cities regional economy.
Translation and collaboration with industry and external organisations
Whilst basic research is at the core of what we do, we work in collaboration with a variety of external stakeholders to translate our work to solve “real world” problems. Three examples from the School that exemplify this work are:
1. Drug Discovery Unit
Our Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) tackles unmet medical need through small molecule drug discovery, bridging the gap between academic scientific research and commercial drug discovery and development. Collaboration is at the heart of everything that the Unit does.
2. Division of Signal Transduction Therapy
We are home to the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT), founded in 1998, which is the world’s longest running collaboration between academic research laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry. Based within the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) the consortium with the pharmaceutical industry, including Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, has attracted £58 million in funding since its inception.
3. Exploiting protein degradation technologies
Regulating protein function through targeted degradation using proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) is a major new field of drug discovery. PROTACs are designed to harness the cell’s natural disposal system (the ubiquitin-proteasome) to specifically remove disease-causing proteins. Professor Alessio Ciulli at the University of Dundee is pioneering new structure-guided low molecular weight PROTACs and has helped transform this area of chemical biology into one of the most exciting areas of drug discovery. This includes significant drug discovery partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim (BI).
Start-ups and Spin-outs
We have a successful record in launching spin-out companies which has helped drive the establishment of a life sciences cluster which makes a major contribution to the Tay Cities regional economy.