October 23, 2014, by Editor

School of Pharmacy Research Blog – October 2014

Dear All

Welcome to the pharmacy school research blog which covers updates from our research activity including all the developments on big advances in research and publications, press releases in the pharmaceutical sciences

Nottingham is the Top School of Pharmacy in England

The 2015 Guardian University Guide and 2015 Complete University Guide have been published and the Pharmacy and Pharmacology subject table ranks us as the number 1 School of Pharmacy in England. The results reflect in particular our high student satisfaction rates, as shown through the National Student Survey, spend on student facilities, very high graduate employment rate and research excellence. Investment in student facilities continues this year with the creation of ten new teaching pharmacies to deliver our sector-leading 4-year MPharm degree and integrated 5-year MPharm, as well as new social study space for our students.

Research funding success – bacteria resistant polymers


A prestigious new Wellcome Trust Investigator grant awarded to Morgan Alexander (Pharmacy) and Paul William (Life Sciences). These are the first awards of their kind for the University of Nopttingham.

Their bacteria resistant polymers could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections acquired through implanted medical devices and improve the health care of hospital patients across the globe. Morgan Alexander, Professor of Biomedical Surfaces in the School of Pharmacy and Paul Williams, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, in the School of Life Sciences at The University of Nottingham, have each received a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for a joint project  to understand why bacteria take such a dislike to their newly discovered polymers.

Controlling the number of infections acquired through indwelling medical devices – such as catheters, intravenous tubes and artificial joints – could significantly reduce the number of medical complications, save thousands of lives a year and reduce medical costs. These Senior Investigator Awards will fund a centre of excellence which will study the underlying mechanisms behind the resistance these materials show to bacterial attachment and biofilm development.

Professor Alexander said: “We have a challenging five years ahead of us.  The polymer material chemistries could not have been predicted from our current understanding of bacterial responses to materials. We will develop new analytical approaches to elucidate the mechanisms by which these polymers resist bacterial attachment encompassing the material and the cells.”

The value was for £2M so congratuations to Morgan and Paul on this successful grant award.

Pharmacy research update. Hijacking bacteria’s natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens


Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defences against them.  Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcarehave developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location. And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Materials 13,748–755(2014), could offer an easier way of detecting pathogenic bacteria outside of a clinical setting and could be particularly important for the developing world, where access to more sophisticated laboratory techniques is often limited.The research was led by Professor Cameron Alexander, Head of the Division of Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering and EPSRC Leadership Fellow in the University’s School of Pharmacy, building on work by PhD student Peter Magennis. Professor Alexander said: “Essentially, we have hijacked some of the metabolic machinery which bacteria use to control their environment, and used it instead to grow polymers which bind strongly to the specific bacteria that produce them.The study was funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) GSK Consumer Healthcare CASE studentship, and Professor Alexander’s Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC)Leadership Fellowship.

School of Pharmacy at the Malaysia Campus – news

Professors Stephen Doughty, Andrew Morris and Dr Nashiru Billa were invited to Monash and Queensland Universities in Australia between 6-9 October 2014 as part of the outreach aspect of the EU FP7 research grant award.  They had a productive meeting and Dr Billa gave a talk at both Universities on our research outcomes.

Want to read more?

This link gives you access to the latest edition of the School of Pharmacy Journal, a collection of publications and press releases from May to July collated by Gail Atkinson.

yours Jonas

Prof Jonas Emsley (jonas.emsley@nottingham.ac.uk)

and  Dr Nashiru Billajonas (nashiru.billa@nottingham.edu.my)

both Chair of School Research Committee in Nottingham and Malaysia, respectively.


Posted in Pharmaceutical ResearchUncategorized