The establishment of a Marie Curie EST centre for Synthesis Training for a Chemical Biology Approach to Drug Design at the University of Edinburgh is a response to the increasingly pivotal role played by chemical biology in the design of new medicines, and aims to equip young scientists with the requisite skill-set essential for future breakthroughs in drug discovery.
The proposed centre looks to substantially broaden the skill base of the next generation of drug discovery scientists, as a deep skill-set in only one discipline is insufficient to meet the demands of the post-genome era of drug discovery. In contrast, the future key researchers of the European pharmaceutical industry need to be equipped with a far broader understanding of chemistry and biology from an early stage.
The School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh is a Centre of Excellence for both synthesis (Bradley, Greaney, Hulme, Lam, Leigh) and chemical biology (Barran, Baxter, Campopiano, Uhrin). The proposed Marie Curie EST centre is therefore ideally placed to exploit the synergy between these two disciplines and host a coherent, cross-disciplinary training programme in the technical skills required for chemical biology-driven drug discovery.
To this end, a programme of training has been devised for Fellows who attend the Marie Curie EST centre at the University of Edinburgh, which spans either 12, or 36 months. During this time, Fellows will be given the opportunity to attend courses in practical and theoretical training in synthetic chemistry and chemical biology.
They will develop these skills in the pursuit of a research project, which spans the two disciplines, developing excellent synthetic skills, but also spending a significant proportion of their time pursuing cross-disciplinary research. The knowledge base, which their training will develop, will give rise to a broadening and strengthening of a pan-European drug discovery programme.
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