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22 February 2021

Celebrating recent Grant and Fellowship successes for the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences

A comprehensive round up of recent successes for Academics across the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

cancer cells

February has been an extremely successful month for the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences, with three Professors receiving prestigious Grants and Fellowships.

Dr Daniele Castagnolo, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, has recently been awarded with two highly competitive Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Fellowships, totaling $426,000. The success rate for such Fellowships in the field of chemistry is significantly lower than other disciplines (approximately 10%).

Dr Castagnolo’s research activity is aimed at the development of new antibacterial drugs and new strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance. Specifically, his research group is investigating new photopharmacology approaches to develop new antibacterial drugs which can be activated at their own will by light irradiation, reducing their side effects and enhancing their selectivity.

In parallel, Dr Castagnolo’s group is working on the development of new biocatalytic methodologies for the synthesis of drugs. These methods exploit enzymes in place of classical hazardous chemical reagents, making the drug manufacturing process more sustainable and greener than the existing ones. The two Marie Curie Fellowships will allow the team to work on both projects.

Eric So, Professor and Chair in Leukaemia Biology from the Comprehensive Cancer Centre, has received two grants; one from Cancer Research UK and the other from Blood Cancer UK. Professor So also holds the role of Professor in Specialist Medicine at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust. His research focuses on the biology of normal and malignant stem cells.

The total value of grants received is £1.9 million, signalling approval from these organisations to support and invest in Professor So’s research programmes. In addition, Professor So works closely with collaborators in Hong Kong as the only UK Principal Investigator on a Hong Kong-based multi-centre theme-based research grant, with their team receiving approximately £4.5 million funding.

This is another important grant that signifies our international stand and collaboration.

Professor Eric So, School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Next, the School saw Professor John Strouboulis, Chair in Molecular Erythropoiesis from the Comprehensive Cancer Centre, awarded a two-year grant from Action Medical Research worth £95,000 to study the pathogenesis and diagnosis of Diamond-Blackfan anaemia alongside colleagues at King’s College Hospital NHS Trust.

I'm very happy with the award of the Action Medical Research grant as it will allow me to carry out an important project that I have been planning for a few years now.

Professor John Strouboulis, School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences

In addition, Dr Sara El Hoss, Research Associate, has been awarded a highly reputable Marie Curie Fellowship to join the Molecular Haematology laboratory, located in the Rayne Institute, Denmark Hill. Dr El Hoss, who joined the School this month, will work under the supervision of Professor Strouboulis and Professor David Rees on a project aiming to elucidate the molecular basis of ineffective erythropoiesis in Sickle Cell Disease.

Congratulations to all, and to the various research teams involved in these significant achievements.

In this story

John Strouboulis_cropped (2)

Chair in Molecular Erythropoiesis