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Leading scientist to share drug discovery research

Published: 30 August 2022 at 14:00

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Professor who helped make key insulin breakthrough will speak at ARU conference

A scientist who played a major role in the discovery of the structure of insulin will speak at the inaugural conference of a research centre dedicated to medical technology and drug discovery.
Professor Sir Tom Blundell, a researcher in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, is the keynote speaker at the inaugural conference of the Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC) at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) next month. The conference is free and open to members of the public.
Professor Blundell was part of the team that discovered the structure of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that helps glucose from food enter the cells to be used for energy, in 1969.
The discovery enabled significant advancements in treatments for diabetes mellitus, a condition where the pancreas either produces no insulin at all (type 1) or not enough (type 2).
Professor Blundell will speak about structural biology, bioinformatics and drug discovery in areas such as cancer, Covid-19 and mycobacterial infections, which can cause conditions such as tuberculosis.
The MTRC is involved in a number of important research projects including the search for a non-surgical treatment for cataracts, a drug combination to fight fibrosis, and work to improve circulatory health, and will showcase its work during the event on Wednesday, 7 September.
Professor Tony Young OBE, National Clinical Lead for Innovation for NHS England, will also speak about the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, which is being delivered by ARU and aims to encourage innovation within the health service. Professor Young is also Director of Medical Innovation at ARU.
Professor Graham Ball, Director of the MTRC at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“We are delighted to be welcoming Professor Sir Tom Blundell to speak at our inaugural conference. His work and achievements in the field of biochemistry and drug discovery are remarkable, and we look forward to him sharing his insights.
“The conference will also showcase the very best of the incredible work being done here at the MTRC which is having its own impact on science and medical technology.”

The event, which takes place at ARU’s Chelmsford campus and begins at 9am on 7 September, is free to attend and is open to all, but places must be booked by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mtrc-1st-annual-research-conference-tickets-264107702247