A leading University of Nottingham cancer researcher and oncologist has been awarded the prestigious Goulstonian Lectureship for 2011 by the Royal College of Physicians, London.
Dr Srinivasan Madhusudan is Clinical Associate Professor and Consultant in Medical Oncology at the University's School of Molecular Medical Sciences and the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.
The Goulstonian Lectureship has been awarded every year since 1639 and has huge historical significance in the medical world. The honour is given to the most academically outstanding Young Fellow of the College and is a huge accolade for the University’s Medical Research enterprise and the Academic Unit of Oncology in particular.
Dr Madhusudan will deliver the Goulstonian Lecture later this year at the Royal College of Physicians in London. It will focus on new methods of fighting tumour resistance to anti-cancer treatments by targeting tumour cell DNA repair mechanisms.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy exert many of their anti-cancer effects by damaging tumour cell DNA. But DNA damage is rigorously monitored and repaired by the highly efficient DNA repair machinery in cells. Proficient DNA repair in tumours causes resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Using drugs to inhibit DNA repair is a promising new strategy to improve anti-cancer activity and therapeutic efficacy of cytotoxic agents. Dr Madhusudan’s laboratory is developing agents to block a protein known as human AP endonuclease 1 (APE1), a factor critically involved in DNA base excision repair (BER) and has provided evidence that APE1 inhibition is a promising new anti-cancer treatment strategy.
Dr Madhusudan is also spearheading intensive research at the Nottingham Gastro-Oesophageal Cancer Research Group to try to improve the treatment of stomach and oesophageal cancer. This cancer has increased by 50 per cent in men and 20 per cent in women since the 1970s because of diet and lifestyle. The reported rates for white men in the UK are now the highest in the world. The Nottingham-based research has shown that a DNA repair protein expression in tumours may predict responses to chemotherapy in patients.
Reacting to his lectureship, Dr Madhusudan said: “It is an honour to accept this lectureship from the Royal College. DNA repair is the new frontier in drug discovery. The University’s Translational Cancer Research community, the internationally renowned School of Pharmacy and the Academic Unit of Oncology provides a vibrant environment to translate basic science for patient benefit”.
Professor Richard James, Head of the School of Molecular Medical Sciences from 2002-8, said: “The School congratulates Dr Madhusudan on being awarded this prestigious lectureship in recognition of his exciting research on DNA repair in tumour cells. This research shows the benefit of research collaborations between the University of Nottingham and the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust that are aimed at improving patient outcomes.”
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More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
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