Senior Research Fellow
Charlie Harrington graduated in Microbiology from Glasgow University where he developed an interest in chemical microbiology and the study of microbial cell walls. He continued with his PhD working with Dr Julia Douglas on the regulation of cell wall synthesis in yeast. This was followed by a one-year NIH-funded Fellowship with Dr Wilf Arnold in Kansas City, Missouri studying enzymes within the yeast cell envelope. After this, Charlie joined Professor Sir James Baddiley in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge as a Research Fellow. He spent four years studying the synthesis of cell wall polymers, this time those in bacteria. Dr Harrington then spent over two years in research and development at Murex Medical Research Ltd., Cambridge, developing diagnostic tests for microbial diseases, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and sexually transmitted diseases. This combined monoclonal antibody technology with his knowledge of the microbial cell surface.
In 1988, he joined Claude Wischik working at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology to develop diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease. Working in the Cambridge Brain Bank Laboratory over a period of 10 years, he was supported by the Medical Research Council, ICI Ltd. and a Newton Trust Research Fellowship from Trinity College. During this time, Wischik, Harrington and colleagues developed an assay for screening agents having the potential to prevent the tau pathology that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Charlie moved with Professor Wischik, in 1998, to the University of Aberdeen, where he was appointed a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Mental Health.
In 2002, research was translated to the clinic, with a phase 2 trial in Alzheimer's disease completed in 2008 and phase 3 trials starting in 2012. Dr Harrington is Chief Scientific Officer for TauRx Therapeutics Ltd.
Dr Harrington has research interests in the neurodegenerative diseases and, in particular, Alzheimer’s disease. His main focus has been on the biology of tau protein in aging and in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Harrington’s research is aimed at diseases that are characterised by protein aggregation and methods by which these processes might be prevented.
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