Medicines Discovery Catapult Nurture Next Generation Drug Discovery Researchers

Medicines Discovery Catapult

Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) have welcomed a cohort of MRC-funded PhD students as part of a training, talent and skills agenda to help develop the next generation of drug discovery researchers.

Charlotte Criscuolo, University of Manchester; Rebecca Kelly, University of Liverpool; Michael Eyres, University of Oxford; and Tim Muntslag, University of Southampton have joined MDC to work on 4-6-month neuroscience and biomarker research projects.

The projects provide the next generation of innovative scientists with key training and exposure to industrial R&D, whilst increasing MDC’s capacity to carry out novel science in areas of benefit to the UK’s drug discovery industry.

Dr Nicola Heron MBA, Head of Collaborative R&D, Medicines Discovery Catapult and External Advisory Board Member, MRC DiMeN Partnership, said:

“Fostering the next generation of innovative scientists and budding entrepreneurs is crucial for the future of drug discovery. By hosting these students at MDC, we are helping to develop their commercial skills and industrial knowledge, plus the generic skills all researchers require to succeed – communication, time management, teamwork and critical thinking. The students also bring novel scientific approaches to MDC that are of potential benefit to the UK’s drug discovery community. The advantages of this Doctoral Training Programme are genuinely reciprocal, and it is a pleasure for MDC to be involved.”

Dr Martin Main, Head of Molecular Technologies, Medicines Discovery Catapult, said:

“Drug Discovery, like any scientific field, is constantly evolving. Hosting these students at MDC is invaluable. It gives us the opportunity to not only to pass on the scientific skills and knowledge my colleagues and I have developed through years of experience, but to also learn from these early career researchers who are incubators of novel science. It is a real privilege to play a part in setting them up for future scientific success through this Doctoral Training Programme.”

The positions were advertised through the Discovery Medicine North (DiMeN) Partnerships Doctoral Training Programme (DTP), and across the wider network of MRC-funded university DTPs, demonstrating a collaborative academic approach to nurturing talent and providing development opportunities to researchers throughout the UK.

The DiMeN partnership is made up of partner institutions including the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield, and aims to train the next generation of researchers to tackle the major health problems facing the population.

The partnership provides up to 30 fully funded studentships across the partnership per year, focussing on the complementary themes of:

  • Genetic Influences on Health
  • Ageing and Disease
  • Bioinformatics and Personalised Medicine

To celebrate British Science Week the PhD Students Charlotte, Rebecca, Michael and Tim talked with MDC’s Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Peter Simpson and Chief Informatics Officer, Professor John Overington, discussing their scientific inspiration, as well as what excites them about the future of the field. The video can be viewed here.