High profile visit to the School of Environment and Life Sciences
Nov 13, 2017
David Sweeney, Executive Chair Designate for Research England, visited the newly refurbished Translational Medicine laboratories in the Cockcroft Building earlier this month, and met with researchers and postgraduate students from the School of Environment and Life Sciences (ELS). David, who first joined HEFCE in 2008 as Director, Research, Innovation and Skills, will become the first Executive Chair of Research England upon the formal creation of UKRI (Council of UK Research and Innovation) in April 2018.
Dean of School, Professor Sheila Pankhurst, said, "We were delighted when David accepted our invitation to come and see our new Translational Medicine labs, to find out more about the research work being done in ELS in areas such as cancer biology, drug development, biomarkers in trauma patients, ageing and metabolomics.
'David spent a couple of hours with us, and met with a number of colleagues in our Biomedicine Research Group to talk about their research. He spoke at some length with Professors Michael Lisanti and Federica Sotgia, about their work in cancer biology and ageing. David also met with research funding leads from other areas in ELS, including Dr Priya Mondal (see photograph below), who is the Salford lead for a consortium recently awarded a major NERC grant for work on water quality in India, and Dr Erinma Ochu, who has been appointed interim chair of the BBSRC Bioscience in Society Strategy panel.'
Professor Lisanti added: "It was good to have the opportunity to speak to David about our work in cancer biology and ageing. Professor Federica Sotgia and I are currently exploring the role of cancer stem cells in particular in our research and we were able to show David some of the new discoveries that we have made and describe our key successes.
He was particularly interested in our ideas focusing on the re-purposing of FDA-approved antibiotics as new anti-cancer agents to target cancer stem cells. This approach will dramatically accelerate clinical trials, while possibly saving billions of pounds. Thus, I believe that our work aligns with the crucial priorities of Research England."
Pictured below, from left to right, are Professor Niroshini Nirmalan, Chair in Biomedicine; Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy; Professor Sheila Pankhurst, Dean of ELS; David Sweeney, HEFCE; Dr Enrinma Ochu, Lecturer in Science Communication and Future Media; Professor Karl Dayson, Dean of Research, and Professor Michael Lisanti, Chair in Translational Medicine.
Main article image from left to right: David Sweeney, HEFCE; Dr Gianpiero Di Leva; Dr Arijit Mukhopadhyay; Dr Priya Mondal, Dr Dave Greensmith, and Professor Michael Lisanti.