skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cardiovascular Drug Discovery workshop 2017

last modified Nov 23, 2017 12:05 PM

The Cambridge Cardiovascular Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) organised a workshop on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery jointly with the Experimental Medicine Training Initiative (EMI). This full day event took place on Wednesday 1st November 2017 at Homerton College, and was attended by academic researchers, clinicians, and representatives from industry (AstraZeneca, GSK, MedImmune, Charles River, and Apollo Therapeutics). The workshop aimed to share experiences of drug discovery process, to understand common barriers to this type of research and to academic-industry partnerships, and to identify ways to overcome them.

The workshop was opened by Dr Joseph Cheriyan who leads the EMI training programme. Dr Colin Fish (GSK) then gave an overview of the drug discovery process, outlining key questions to be asked throughout the process, and giving examples of how things can go wrong along the way.


CV drug discovery workshop 2017
Dr Colin Fish giving an overview of drug discovery process

His talk was followed by six research challenges were presented by academic researchers, followed by responses from the industry representatives. The challenges were:

  • Targeting BMPR2 for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (Prof Nick Morrell – response from Dr David Budd (GSK))
  • Investigating mitochondrial toxicity in the context of hypoxia (Prof Margaret Ashcroft & Dr Andrew Murray – response from Dr Jon Lyon (GSK))
  • Developing an in silico translational systems model of human cardiovascular physiology (Dr Takahiro Yamamoto – response from Dr Nick Edmunds (AstraZeneca))
  • Platelet collagen receptor GPVI dimer in ischaemic stroke and atrial fibrillation (Prof Richard Farndale & Dr Stephanie Jung – response from Dr Mark Bamford (GSK))
  • Complex human models of disease to guide patient-specific therapies: Marfan syndrome as an example (Dr Sanjay Sinha – response from several people)
  • Mitochondria in disease - Plerox (Dr Thomas Krieg – response from Dr Rajan Jethwa (Erudite Evolution))

An important aim of the workshop was to provide EMI clinical research fellows an opportunity to learn more about the types of challenges one can encounter at different stages of the drug discovery process and to resolve these. To encourage active participation, the room was set up with round tables of 6-8 delegates with a mixture of senior academic researchers, industry representatives, and clinical fellows.

Each table focused on one of the six research challenges and used the first session after lunch break to identify potential approaches to overcome the challenge, and potential next steps for the project. Their suggestions were then summarised and shared with the rest of the room inviting further feedback.

The day ended with short overviews of available follow up support through:

The workshop was closed by Prof Nick Morrell who co-leads the Cardiovascular SRI jointly with Prof Martin Bennett.

Information about our research, training and future events can be found on the EMI and SRI websites. Please contact:

  • if you are interested in future funding opportunities.
  • Dr Katja Kivinen if you would like to talk privately to the University’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Dr Tim Allsopp (Stem Cells & Cell Therapy) and Dr Jeremy Griggs (Drug Discovery & Development).

CV drug discovery workshop 2017 break



Cambridge Cardiovascular logo - transparent

Logo design by Dr Ana-Mishel Spiroski and Dr Sarah Morgan.


We connect cardiovascular researchers in Cambridge.

Please follow us on Twitter for local news about research, events, funding calls, and open positions.

For inquiries about our research or the website, please contact Dr Tammy Dougan