Development of new drugs from deep sea organisms to be highlighted at symposium

Development of new drugs from deep sea organisms to be highlighted at symposium

Pioneering research being conducted in Aberdeen, to develop new medicines for diseases such as cancer, will come under the spotlight today (Wednesday March 21).

A symposium hosted by the University of Aberdeen will showcase the cutting-edge work taking place at the institution to harness the potential of unique marine organisms from the depths of the world’s oceans to create new pharmaceuticals.

The event is hosted by the University’s Marine Biodiscovery Centre which launched in 2010 and is one of only three centres in Europe dedicated to the exploration of the natural resources from our seas.

It is also one of very few centres in the world to bring together chemists and biologists to work together on the development of new pharmaceuticals.

The symposium will highlight the ways in which industry and scientists can work together to fully explore and utilise nature’s tools to develop potentially groundbreaking drugs to treat cancer, bacterial infections and parasitic and inflammatory diseases.

Around 50 representatives from academia and industry will attend the one day event which will take place at the University’s King’s College Conference Centre.

Speakers will include Guy Carter, Consultant with Carter-Bernan Consulting and former Assistant Vice President with responsibility for the Natural Product Division at Wyeth/Pfizer who will provide an insight into the relationship between industry and scientists working at the cutting edge of natural products-based drug discovery and development.

Dr Bradley Moore from the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will also speak at the event, highlighting the re-engineering of nature’s toolkit for making new chemical structures which can be used as novel pharmaceuticals.

Professor Marcel Jaspars, Director of the Marine Biodiscovery Centre said: “The greatest diversity of life on our planet can be found in the world’s seas in the form of marine organisms which live in a huge variety of habitats.

“Cutting-edge work being conducted within the University’s Marine Biodiscovery Centre is using state-of the-art technologies to break new ground in the development of drugs using the rich and diverse range of unique compounds which exist in these deep sea organisms.

“We are delighted to host this symposium which provides a unique opportunity for those working in this highly important field of biomedicine and biotechnology to discuss latest developments.

“The event will highlight how important it is for industry and academia to work together, so that we can fully harness the potential of using nature’s tools to development crucial new medicines.”

The role of natural products and synthetic biology in drug discovery symposium takes place on Wednesday March 21 at the University of Aberdeen’s King’s College Conference Centre.

For more information on the symposium visit the CoPS website.

For more information on the University of Aberdeen Marine Biodiscovery Centre visit their website.