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Signals of Success: The 2016 Pehr Edman Lecture

Posted: 14th June 2016

On Friday May 27th, guests at SVI’s 2016 Pehr Edman Lecture were treated to an informative lecture by the architect of Europe’s largest collaboration between the academic and the pharmaceutical industry, Professor Sir Philip Cohen.

SVI Director Professor Tom Kay welcomed guests and provided a brief overview of SVI, highlighting our researchers and their work in areas such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Professor Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE then enthusiastically introduced the theme of the lecture—Signals to Success—which focused on Professor Sir Philip Cohen’s work in the Division of Signal Transduction (DSTT) at the University of Dundee.

Professor Cohen has studied protein phosphorylation as a cellular control mechanism for more than 45 years. During his career, he has discovered enzymes that have been targeted by pharmaceutical companies to develop improved drugs for the treatment of cancer and arthritis. The DSTT, a collaboration which he pioneered in the 1990s, has seen the university work with the world's major pharmaceutical companies, resulting in breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

Prof Cohen spoke about some of the reasons why the collaboration has continued for so long, ”The DSTT works to industrial standards, nearly always deliver what they say they can and on time; the Dundee scientists have proved they can maintain confidentiality, and trust is created in a long collaboration, which increases its value to both parties.”

Image (L-R): SVI Director Professor Tom Kay, Professor Sir Phillip Cohen, SVI Board Chair Ms Brenda Shanahan, Professor Sir Gustav Nossal and Mr Frank Maguire MP