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Research Fellows Directory

Alan Armstrong

Professor Alan Armstrong

Research Fellow


Imperial College London

Research summary

For many years, the pharmaceutical industry has been a major contributor to UK health and prosperity and many important new medicines were first discovered here. However, the industry is finding it increasingly difficult to find the new, more effective treatments that are urgently needed for a wide range of diseases. One reason is that problems with many potential new drugs (for example, lack of efficacy or side-effects due to poor selectivity) are discovered only in the late stages of expensive clinical trials. To solve this problem, it is essential to develop a better understanding of the fundamental biological pathways underlying diseases and the effects of drugs on them, so that potential problems can be predicted and avoided at the earliest possible stage. A relatively new scientific field known as chemical biology harnesses the power of chemistry in allowing the synthesis of new molecular probes that can provide greatly improved information about the likely effects of potential drugs on biological systems. This can lead to “better quality” molecular starting points for drug discovery that are less likely to fail at a later stage. This fellowship aims to develop this approach for a wide range of important diseases, with a particular focus on treatments for pain and sensory disorders in collaboration with the industrial partner, Pfizer Neusentis.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Synthetic Chemical Biology: Industrial Application of New Tools from Academia

Scheme: Industry Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2011 - Sep 2015

Value: £163,443