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Inaugurals 2009

Professor Donald Singer:

"Cardiovascular Targets for Drug Discovery"

22 September 2009
Medical Teaching Centre 6pm until 7pm, followed by a drinks reception

Cardiovascular disorders are the commonest cause of serious preventable diseases and premature death in the developed world. In recent decades, new treatments for cardiovascular risk factors and for heart and stroke syndromes have had a major impact on quality of life and survival. However there remains a pressing need for development of better medicines to improve prevention and treatment of serious disorders of the heart, brain and circulation.

There are three key strategies which can help. Major opportunities will come from better understanding of how existing treatments can be used more effectively. This needs a spectrum of approaches from well-designed controlled trials to improved, e-health supported treatment pathways and ensuring equitable access to the right treatment for the right patient. Drug reprofiling can lead to discovery of important new applications for treatments already well established in other therapeutic areas. Finally application of innovative experimental approaches may identify completely novel treatments.

At the bench, modifying expression of RNA offers new ways to modify important disease-causing pathways for which no treatments are currently available. Other methods which combine molecular biology, pharmacology and new chemistry allow innovative ways to understand more about the causes of disease. This can help to identify new ways in which drugs may act either to help or harm. Drug molecules can then be modified to enhance beneficial effects and reduce the risk of toxic effects.

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