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Russell group research reveals molecular target of the Utrophin modulator Ezutromid

Department Russell Group

A collaboration between the Russell group (Chemistry and Pharmacology) and the Davies group (Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics) has identified, via a chemical proteomics and phenotypic profiling strategy, the arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as the molecular target of ezutromid, the utrophin modulator that recently completed a Phase 2 clinical trial in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients.

Pharmacology seeks applications for two new career development positions

Department

The Department of Pharmacology is seeking to appoint up to two Career Development Fellows by early 2020. Aimed at outstanding experienced and early career researchers, these posts will provide space, access to facilities and support to enable the postholders to establish their own independent research programme.

Rhythms of the brain: uncovering a subcortical circuit that modulates cortical GABAergic neurons

Department Somogyi Group

Minas Salib, in the group led by Tim Viney and Peter Somogyi, has discovered a new type of neuronal pathway that may be important in memory. For the encoding and recall of episodic memories, nerve cells in the cerebral cortex are activated in precisely timed sequences. Rhythmicity facilitates the coordination of neuronal activity and these rhythms are detected as oscillations of different frequencies, such as 5–12 Hz theta oscillations. Degradation of these rhythms, such as through neurodegeneration, causes memory deficits. The medial septum, a part of the basal forebrain that innervates the hippocampal formation, contains neurons that fire with a high degree of rhythmicity (HRNs) and others that fire with a low degree of rhythmicity (LRNs). These distinct types of neuron may contribute differentially to the coordination of cortical neuronal activity. Minas and colleagues discovered that GABAergic LRNs preferentially innervate the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus, regions important for episodic memory. These neurons act in parallel with the HRNs mostly via transient inhibition of inhibitory neurons. A figure from the paper describing these results was chosen to illustrate the front cover of the 5 June issue of Journal of Neuroscience.

Professor Mark T Nelson elected to membership of the National Academy of Sciences

Department

The Department is delighted to congratulate one of our visiting professors, Mark Nelson of the University of Vermont, on his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Oxford Pharmacology tops QS World Rankings

Department

The Department of Pharmacology at Oxford is delighted to be placed at the top of the world rankings for Pharmacy and Pharmacology according to league tables published this week by QS. The QS World University Rankings by Subject comprise the biggest compilation of international data on higher education ever published.

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