CENTRE FOR PATHWAY ANALYSIS
The Centre for Pathway Analysis provides a unique interactive and multifaceted environment for therapeutic innovation where academics, pharma and biotech work side-by-side. In the Centre, we are developing our own research programme and target discovery pipeline. The methods and approaches we are developing are disease-agnostic but we are currently focused on applying these in oncology and CNS diseases.
DRUG DISCOVERY PROGRAMME
DISEASE SIGNATURE INTERROGATION
The target discovery and functional validation programme led by Dr Rebecca Harris was initiated in 2020. By drawing on the academic research base within Cambridge, Rebecca’s team aims to develop clinically relevant, well validated targets for disease therapy, and will engage with clinical and pharma experts throughout. In addition to delivering novel, well validated targets, the team will also focus on the scale-up of complex cellular or patient-derived disease models for industry drug discovery workflows and generation of novel reagents that will streamline and advance industry screening processes. The specialist facilities available within the institute, set up and managed by the MTI facilities team, provides additional opportunities for pre-competitive collaborative projects between Cambridge academics and our Consortium partners.
COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY GROUP
DISEASE SIGNATURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH AI
The aim of our computational biology team, led by Dr Namshik Han, is to create an atlas of disease mechanisms through the integration and interrogation of large multi-omic datasets.The team are using bespoke machine learning methods to identify new signatures of disease and therapeutic targets, as well as network analysis to gain a deep understanding of the underlying causes of disease. Working closely in collaboration with the medical research charity LifeArc and also with Storm Therapeutics, the team has been able to develop and validate methodology with clear applications in drug discovery. This unit is also working with researchers and clinicians throughout Cambridge who have unique patient datasets and disease models, and it is this sharing of expertise that ensures results are biologically interpretable and can inform go/no go decision making in drug discovery. Our approaches have been applied to target identification and repositioning and are applicable across many areas of healthcare including early detection and personalised medicine.