India-UK Newton Researcher Links Workshop : Translating New Chemical Discoveries into Medical Advances
The role of “Peptides, Proteins and Metals in Disease and Therapy” - a topic of critical importance to health and the treatment of disease – was discussed at a joint workshop at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, hosted by Indian and UK Early Career Researchers.
Taking place on 6-8 November 2017, the workshop was coordinated by Professor Peter Sadler ( Warwick) and Professor Sandeep Verma (IIT Kanpur) and is sponsored jointly by the Newton-Bhabha Fund of the British Council and The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Senior researchers acted as mentors for the young researchers: Professor Subramaniam Ganesh (IIT Kanpur), Professor Govindasamy Mugesh (IIS Bangalore), Dr. John Viles (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr. Joanna F. Collingwood and Professor Peter O’Connor (University of Warwick, UK).
The research presentations provided new insight into the role of metals, proteins and peptides in health, disease and treatment.
About half of the 20 elements thought to be essential for human life are metals. In the brain for example, we find sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, copper, zinc and molybdenum.
Our genes code for proteins and peptides which control the chemical behaviour of metals in the body (as metal ions). Understanding how this control works, and why it goes wrong, may provide the key to understanding neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and senile dementia, their diagnosis and treatment, others such as bacterial infections, cancer and diabetes, as well as the development of advanced new methods for diagnosis.
Importantly advances in this highly interdisciplinary area of research should be achievable faster by international collaboration, and the new links between Indian and UK researchers which this Workshop will establish, are likely to hasten progress in turning cutting-edge chemical discoveries into new medical advances.