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Press Release - 01 May 2008

Public lecture: Defeating the enemy within - cancer drug design for the new millennium

Cancer is probably the most important disease of modern western society, and, despite many advances, much remains to be done in the development of new treatments. The public lecture will explain what cancer is, how cancerous cells differ from normal cells and how these differences can be exploited for the development of more effective drugs. The lecture will take place on Wednesday 7 May from 5.15-6.15pm on the Claverton campus.

The lecture will be given by Dr Matthew Lloyd in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology. Dr Lloyd is part of a team of researchers at Bath that were awarded more than £450,000 by Cancer Research UK to investigate a new way of preventing the division and growth of tumour cells.

During the talk, a donation will be made by the Pharmacy Students Association (PSA) to Sabrina Sallis, the local Cancer Research UK fundraising officer. The association raises money for charity each year and chose to donate to Cancer Research UK on the basis of the department’s recent research success.

Sophie Blow from the PSA said: “Cancer is a disease affecting 1 in 3 people and so most students in the department know someone who has suffered from the disease and therefore were very supportive of the committee in this donation.”

Research by Dr Lloyd and his colleagues targets a family of enzymes - types of worker molecules - that appear to be involved in controlling cell growth. Studies have shown that increased levels of these enzymes, known as sirtuins, are found in tumours from a range of different cancer types.

This suggests that, by finding a way of preventing these enzymes from working, it may be possible to halt the progression of cancer by stopping tumour cells from dividing and growing.

Dr Mike Threadgill, who is leading the research, said: “The work funded by Cancer Research UK will build on a long history of successful anti-cancer work at the University of Bath.

“Colleagues already have a range of treatments currently in early stage clinical trials for hormone-dependent breast cancers. If successful, we would hope that by the end of this project we might be in a position to begin developing the compounds for clinical trials.”

Dr Lloyd graduated with DPhil (PhD) in Chemistry & Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in 1992. Following post-doctoral experience at Brown University, USA and the University of Oxford, he joined the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology in 2002.

Admission is free, just turn up on the night. Free parking is available in the West car park. The presentation will take place in lecture theatre 8 West, 1.1 on the Claverton campus, University of Bath.

The lecture is part of the General University Lecture programme (GULP). For information about other lectures in the series see the links above.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: