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Professor Angela Russell, who holds a joint appiontment with the Departments of Pharmacology and Chemistry, is one of four scientists from the University of Oxford who have won prizes from the Royal Society of Chemistry in recognition of brilliance in research and innovation. The awards are among the oldest and most prestigious research prizes in the world, having recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years.

Professor Angela RussellAngela Russell, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in Oxford’s Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology, has been awarded the Chemistry Biology Interface mid-career prize: Jeremy Knowles Award. This recognises outstanding contributions made by a mid-career scientist working at the chemistry and life science interface.

Professor Russell’s research seeks to develop an effective drug to treat children with the fatal muscle-wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) through increasing the levels of utrophin, a muscle protein. Utrophin is related to dystrophin (the protein that is absent in DMD), and has the potential to act as a substitute for dystrophin and restore muscle function in patients. Laboratory research led by Professor Russell’s group revealed that utrophin production can be increased in the body using molecules that bind to a protein called the arylhydrocarbon receptor. The group are now working to develop candidate molecules that bind to this receptor and which could provide long-term benefits for all patients with DMD.

Angela said, "I am delighted to receive this recognition of our work over the last 20 years towards an effective treatment for the devastating neuromuscular disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Throughout this endeavour has been, and continues to be, a team effort. This prize also recognises all of the contributions over the years, for which I am incredibly grateful, from my co-workers, collaborative partners, our funders, charities, and importantly patients and their families.

Professor Stephen Faulkner, Head of the Department of Chemistry, said: ‘We are thrilled that the research of our academics has been recognised today with these prestigious awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Congratulations to all four winners, whose work spans the breadth of chemical research: from medicinal chemistry and molecular engineering, to green chemistry and materials development. As well as recognising our academics’ ground-breaking work, today’s awards stand as a testament to the inspiring work that so many people do in our Department’s laboratories throughout the year.’

Further information about other Oxford recipients of RSC Prizes, see https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2024-06-12-four-oxford-university-scientists-awarded-royal-society-chemistry-prizes.  Further details of the awards can be found on the RSC website.

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