University of Dundee

Drug Discovery Unit

Short Code: 
DDU

mRNA cap methylation - a key player in cancer cell growth?

One of the most prevalent cancer-causing genes or “oncogenes” is called PI3KCA.  Damaging changes or “mutations” in this oncogene are found in many cancers including cancers of the breast, colon, brain, liver, stomach and lung.   Understanding how cancer-causing genes such as PIK3CA change the behaviour of our cells is key to developing new therapies for cancer patients. 

Natural products from the Amazon may help to treat neglected diseases

Researchers in the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) have been awarded £700,000 to investigate whether bacteria and other natural products found in the Amazon hold the key to developing new drugs for neglected tropical diseases. The team led by Professor Kevin Read will work with colleagues in Brazil to identify novel drug targets and develop new therapies for visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease.

School Prizes awarded at Review of the Year

A number of school prizes were presented at Review of the Year today.

Innovator of the Year

New for this year, Innovator of the Year, two categories were introduced for best innovation and for early-stage new business ideas. In partnership with the Centre of Entrepreneurship, the winners are guaranteed an automatic place in the appropriate category of the University of Dundee, Venture 2019 Final, plus a chance to participate in the on-campus three month summer Elevator accelerator programme.

Horn lab challenge trypanosome energy production dogma

Parasitic protozoa called trypanosomes synthesize sugars using an unexpected metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis, according to a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens. The research led by Professor David Horn's team, in particular lead author Dr Julie Kovarova, in collaboration with Professors Mike Ferguson (Dundee) and Mike Barrett (Glasgow) note that this metabolic flexibility may be essential for adaptation to environmental conditions and survival in mammalian host tissues.

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