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Interview with Katherine England - working in dementia research

Oxford Passage, UK

8 Oct 2015

SCI offered 58 researchers in academia and industry the opportunity to present posters on their research to the delegates who attended the 18th SCI/RSC Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in September 2015. Katherine England’s poster was awarded first prize. Here, Katherine tells us a little more about herself and the research that she is involved in.

Please can you let us have a summary of what your research is about? Where are you studying and in what year?

I’ve recently been awarded a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oxford where I have been working in the field of epigenetics with the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC). My project successfully developed a selective small molecule inhibitor of KDM2A, an epigenetic protein involved in gene regulation that oxidatively removes methyl groups from methylated lysine residues on histone proteins. I’m now working in dementia research as part of the new Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute where I am investigating epigenetic proteins as potential targets for the treatment of dementia.

What made you chose to present a poster at the SCI/RSC 18th Medicinal Chemistry Symposium?

I was excited about the breadth and quality of the conference programme and wanted to take the opportunity to discuss my own research and its potential applications with leading medicinal chemists from the UK and further afield.

Can you describe your experience of being at the Symposium?

There was a really stimulating line-up of talks and posters and it was particularly exciting to hear about new targets for drug discovery and projects reaching the clinic for the first time. It was good to get to know new people over the poster sessions and excellent meals and a great chance to catch up with former colleagues too.

How do you feel about winning the 2015 poster prize?

I was delighted that my work was awarded the poster prize – presenting the poster was a great chance to share the work that I and my colleagues have been involved with and on a personal level it made my experience of being part of the SCI/RSC Medicinal Chemistry Symposium really memorable.

If you have an interest in the developments in the treatment of Alzheimers, why not attend SCI’s next Public Evening Lecture, to be delivered by Dr Simone Lovegrove, looking into whether Big Data could offer efficient methods of delivering new drugs to combat Dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. Please register for this event via the link below.

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