University of Glasgow partners in new £8.2M MRC Medicines Development Fellowship Programme

The University of Glasgow will partner in an exciting new MRC-funded medicines career development programme, led by the University of Liverpool in partnership with Queen Mary University London, the University of Manchester, and a number of industry partners.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Medicines Development Fellowship Programme will strengthen interactions between academia and industry to deliver world-class medicines development. It will support four pre-doctoral Fellows and the development of four new, five-year Clinician Scientist Fellowships.

The programme is co-funded and supported by two major pharmaceutical companies, GSK and AstraZeneca in addition to a data science company, Optum UK, and Hammersmith Medicines Research, the UK’s largest clinical research organisation.

It will cover several disease areas as core themes, including infection and inflammation, cardiac and respiratory disease, oncology and neuropsychiatry. These align with key strengths of the four Universities, such as experimental medicine, artificial intelligence and data science, and product development areas for industry partners. The unique scheme will foster a seamless working environment between academia, industry and the NHS.

Professor Jesse Dawson, project lead for the University of Glasgow, said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with the MRC, the University of Liverpool, Queen Mary University London, the University of Manchester and 4 industrial partners in this exciting scheme. This joint programme will provide a unique training opportunity for clinician scientists and by partnering with industry, they will work on cutting edge research, aiming to optimise use of medications and discover new treatments for the benefit of patients."

Programme leader Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed University of Liverpool, said: "Developing new medicines, or using existing medicines in a better way, is key to improving outcomes for patients. This truly unique scheme offers an exciting opportunity for medically-qualified trainees at all levels, to undertake the best science in an environment that will foster joint working between Universities and Industry. We want to ensure that the scheme provides a greatly enhanced experience for all Fellows. We will also provide a dedicated teaching programme, mentorship from academia and industry, peer support and collegiality as well as opportunities to network and to develop skills in leadership, patient involvement and in communication and engagement. I am grateful to all the partners, academic and industry, who are taking part in the scheme."

Dr David Pan, Head of Programme, Training and Careers at MRC said: "This new programme gives clinician scientists valuable experience working across the diverse industries involved in the pharmaceutical development process, from major pharmaceutical companies to data science and clinical research. The strong industry commitment further supports our efforts to build the numbers of clinical academics. The knowledge and experience they will gain of the regulatory and clinical trial process involved in the commercialisation of discoveries will provide long term benefits for both sectors and help to support the development of future therapeutics."