PA 217/09 A University of Nottingham researcher involved in the discovery of new pharmaceuticals has been awarded a visiting professorship by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Science. The Institute is recognised as one of China’s leading drug research centres. Dr Shudong Wang took up the post of Associate Professor and Reader in the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham in October 2005. Her current research is focused on the discovery and development of novel kinase inhibitor drugs in a range of therapeutic areas but with particular emphasis on oncology. She has also been very active in using the advanced medicinal chemistry techniques established at The University of Nottingham to study pharmaceutical compounds isolated from Chinese medicinal plants with particular reference to their anti-cancer or cancer prevention applications. Dr Wang has been involved in drug discovery and development since 1997 when she joined Cyclacel Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company based in Scotland. She was soon appointed Head of Chemistry and programme manager for a multi-disciplinary team which successfully delivered several credible drug compounds, some of which are currently at clinic and pre-clinic development stages. Other areas currently studied by Dr Wang’s group include development of novel pharmacophore models used to investigate the mechanism by which specific kinases regulate cellular apoptotic pathways leading to human tumourgenesis as well as the effect on cardiovascular disease, infection, inflammation and neuro-degeneration. “As one of Europe’s leading Schools of Pharmacy, our scientists are in demand throughout the World,” said Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Head of the School of Pharmacy at the University. “Shudong Wang’s prestigious visiting professorship builds on longstanding collaborations across China, India, Malaysia, North America and Europe. These collaborations tackle major challenges in pharmaceutical research and broaden the training environment for our students and staff.” The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) is a senior member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It evolved from the Institute of Materia Medica of Peking Academy of Sciences and moved to Shanghai in 1933. Through several generations of effort, benefiting in particular over the last 10 years from heavy investment by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, CAS and Shanghai Municipality, SIMM has gained world-class recognition and is acknowledged to be China’s premier drug research centre. Its outstanding research capability, coupled with state-of-art infrastructures and facilities, has attracted worldwide collaborative partners, including global pharmaceutical companies Novartis, GSK and AstraZeneca. In the last three years Dr Wang has visited SIMM several times, presenting lectures to staff and research students and establishing strong and mutually beneficial research collaborations. The award of Visiting Professor is in recognition of the important contribution Dr Wang has made to bridge collaboration between The University of Nottingham and SIMM. This award demonstrates that SIMM recognises the importance of links with The University of Nottingham. Dr Wang’s own research will benefit directly from high-level involvement with the centre, which has attracted top Chinese scientists, as well as from access to high calibre student candidates, research projects, and many collaborative opportunities.