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Professor Ravi Acharya
Professor Ravi Acharya

Internal News - 20 August 2007

Academic wins prestigious fellowship

Professor Ravi Acharya from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry has been awarded a prestigious Industry Fellowship by the Royal Society.

The fellowship will allow Professor Acharya to work with Syntaxin Ltd on a project investigating novel therapeutics based on neurotoxins from the Clostridium family of bacteria.

Professor Acharya has collaborated with the protein engineering team at Syntaxin for the past seven years, the company having funded two research studentships in the Department.

The new industrial fellowship will be effective for four years from 1 October 2007, and will significantly increase the opportunity for forging long-term understanding between the department and the company.

“I am delighted to have been awarded the Royal Society Industry fellowship,” said Professor Acharya.

“It will really help to cement our relationship with the company and provide further opportunity for us to work in this area.

“ The company has already funded two studentships in the department, and another will start following this award.”

Dr John Chaddock of Syntaxin Ltd commented: "We have worked with Professor Acharya for the last seven years and are delighted to be able to strengthen our collaboration in structural biology through this Royal Society Industry Fellowship."

Notes

Syntaxin Ltd was founded in 2005 as a spin out from the UK Health Protection Agency at Porton Down. The company designs and develops novel drugs for the treatment of neurological, respiratory and metabolic diseases that act by controlling cell secretion.

The company’s proprietary technology platform enables bacterial proteins to be engineered to produce candidates that inhibit the secretion of selected proteins from specified target cells involved in disease.

These products could have therapeutic effects in a wide range of diseases with high unmet medical need, including: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, obesity and endocrine disorders.

The Royal Society Industrial Fellowship scheme aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia. It provides opportunities for an academic scientist to work on a collaborative project with industry, or someone employed in industry to work on a collaborative project with a university department.