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Introducing SCI Scholar, James Adams

James Adams

9 Sept 2015

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985, over 65 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past eight years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed nearly £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

James Adams was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2015. Below, he tells us about himself and his research project.

‘My passion for science began whilst at Wolgarston High School, where I undertook my A-levels. This passion developed and focussed during my undergraduate studies at the University of Nottingham where I studied Chemistry (2009-2013). During this time I received numerous awards for academic achievement; BP Achievement Award 2012, Prof F S Kipping Scholarship 2011, GSK Scholarship 2010, University of Nottingham Higher Achievers Award 2009.

‘Throughout my time as an undergraduate I had the opportunity to work on several summer research projects in the fields of both organic (Dr J Camp) and inorganic chemistry (Prof M George). As my knowledge developed and I began to specialise, it became apparent that my main research interest was in medicinal chemistry. Consequently, I chose to work on a collaborative Master’s research project with GSK involving the design and synthesis of αvβ6 integrin inhibitors for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, that resulted in two publications; MacDonald et al ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 5, 1207-1212 and ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2015, 6, 221-224.

‘In 2013, I graduated with a First Class MSci, this was accompanied by the award of the GSK prize for outstanding work in medicinal chemistry. I then took a year out before starting a BBSRC DTP PhD studentship under the supervision of Dr Lydia Tabernero and Prof David Procter at The University of Manchester in September 2014. I have also received support in the form of a Presidents Doctoral Scholar Award and a Sir Kenneth Murray Scholarship.

‘The research that I am currently undertaking involves the utilisation of a novel strategy to obtain selective cell permeable PTP inhibitors. PTPs are an attractive therapeutic target; this enzyme class represents 6% of the druggable genome and may be key to treating a plethora of diverse diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer.

‘With my enthusiasm and love of science I wanted to work on a project that will make a difference, finding solutions through research that I hope will contribute to improvements in the quality of life. This project has that potential, with the possibility to demonstrate the viability of targeting PTPs to treat a variety of diseases and improve the lives of suffers of these diseases.’

James Adams
University of Manchester, SCI Scholar 2015 -2017

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