Cardiff University in Wales has just announced the launch of their new Medicines Discovery Institute. It’s goal? To help accelerate the development of novel therapies for those living with conditions with a high unmet need. This includes many people living with rare diseases, mental health conditions, and conditions which affect the central nervous system. One of their first projects will work with fragile X syndrome.
The institute is funded by three different agencies, totaling £14 million. These include the Welsh Government, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
The institute is located within the School of Biosciences.
While the Medicines Discovery Institute does have a focus on mental health disorders and the central nervous system, they don’t plan on limiting their research to these two areas. They understand that their world-class facilities could support research in many different diseases. They have promised their research will be multidisciplinary, involving faculty from across the university who could contribute to projects for a wide range of conditions, including cancer.
Examples of Projects
One of the institute’s first projects is focused on fragile X syndrome. Specifically, researchers will be investigating a protein that regulates connections between nerve cells. The ultimate goal is to uncover a new therapeutic option for this patient population. This research is thanks to a grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) totaling £2,446,050.
Another project will focus on the reduction of side effects for anxiety medications. Specifically, they will investigate the side effects which are associated with benzodiazepine drugs. This research is also being funded by the MRC with a grant of £3.5 million.
One of the best parts about this new institute is that it will provide the perfect location for training of the next generation of scientists. Being surrounded by brilliant experts in the field is not only a great way to learn, but it can effortlessly inspire those new to research.
We hope to see the projects of this new institute provide tangible benefits to real patients in the near future. Researchers hope that they will be able to translate our advancing knowledge of diseases into real novel treatment options for patients, ultimately improving the state of their quality of life.
You can read more about this new institute and its goals here.