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Pharmacology 2018: introducing our prize lecturers

Published: 16 Oct 2018
Category: President's message
By Stephen Hill

Our prize lectures always form the spine of the scientific programme of our annual meeting, and that’s no different for Pharmacology 2018.

These lectures are deserved recognition for the winners of these Society awards, all of whom have made significant and sustained contributions to their field, and often to the wider science, industry or medical landscape.  

I am therefore pleased and proud to introduce you to our Pharmacology 2018 Prize Lecturers. If you haven’t already booked your place to hear them (and so many others) speak, I hope you will be inspired to do so once you have read this.

Charles Serhan: Gaddum International Lecture

The Gaddum International Lecture was established in 2016. The lectureship recognises international contributions to pharmacology from members or non-members who are not UK resident.

I am delighted that Charles Serhan (Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury at Brigham and Women’s Hospital) will give the inaugural Gaddum International Lecture. His laboratory focuses on the structural elucidation of novel bioactive molecules (eg resolvins) that activate the resolution of inflammation. He will speak about his work into novel pro-resolving lipid mediators and mechanisms in the resolution of infectious inflammation and tissue regeneration.

Adam Cohen: Lilly Prize for longstanding leadership in clinical pharmacology

Adam is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden, Netherlands, and plays an important role for the Society as Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. I am looking forward to hearing his lecture, which will no doubt be based on his broad expertise in early clinical pharmacology, large clinical trials, medical ethics, drug regulation and education, and in collaboration with industry.

Adam’s lecture will be introduced by my immediate predecessor as President, Professor David Webb.

Read about Adam in his own words in this case study profile for Clinical Pharmacology Month.

Fiona Marshall: AstraZeneca Prize for Women in Pharmacology

This prize celebrates women who have contributed to our understanding of a particular field through excellence in research, and I can think of no-one who better fits that description than Fiona.

Fiona has been a fantastic role model for her work at GSK and Heptares in leading major drug discovery programmes involving G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Fiona spoke to a rapt audience at the Royal College of Physicians back in June as my guest for the President’s Lecture. She gave a superb historical account of some of the drug discovery programmes that she had been involved in. Fiona recently joined MSD in London as Vice President and Head of the new MSD UK Discovery Centre in London. This is an exciting development for both Fiona and the UK science base.

Fiona will give her prize lecture on the subject of allosteric modulators for GPCRs. She is a great speaker and this promises to be a personal highlight for me at this year’s conference.

Andrew Plested: Gary Price Memorial Lecture

The Gary Price Memorial Lecture is funded by GSK in memory of the late Dr Gary Price. Gary (1959–2002) was a leading neuropharmacologist who worked on serotonin receptor pharmacology, developing selective compounds for the 5-HT1B receptor.

This year’s lecturer is Andrew Plested from Humboldt University in Berlin, who will be speaking on the subject “Glutamate receptors from structure to synapse”.

Andrew and his lab at Humboldt University are interested in ion channel receptors and fast signalling in the nervous system. Their objective is to understand the relationship between the molecular structure of a given receptor (its shape) and its activity (what it does). More recently, they have become interested in the relation between receptor properties and synaptic signalling. His talk should be of great interest to anyone interested in ion channels.

I look forward to you joining me to hear each of these fantastic speakers!

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About the author

Steve studied Pharmacology in Bristol and then undertook PhD studies in the Department of Pharmacology in Cambridge. After postdoctoral studies in Cambridge he was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham in 1981. Steve is currently Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the School of Life Sciences in Nottingham and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. His research interests are the molecular pharmacology of G Protein-coupled receptors and the study of single ligand-receptor interactions in membrane microdomains using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.