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12 June 2012

Barry Potter recognized by European Life Sciences Award

Professor Barry Potter at the University of Bath has been named ‘Investigator of the Year 2012’ at the European Life Sciences Award ceremony held in Hamburg, Germany.

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the global life sciences arena, specifically at the interface of chemistry with biology and medicine.

Professor Barry Potter, from the University’s Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, researches the chemistry of signalling within cells and drug discovery.

Many cancers are caused by errors in cell signalling, for example when a cancerous cell produces signals to divide uncontrollably it can lead to tumour growth.

Professor Potter’s work has included the discovery of a new family of anti-cancer drugs called steroid sulfatase inhibitors, which targets a cell signalling pathway.

His work has been underpinned by national and international collaborations between academic biologists, physicians, oncologists, endocrinologists, pharmaceutical scientists and the pharmaceutical industry.

His research covers the whole spectrum of basic curiosity-driven laboratory science through to the treatment of patients through clinical trials with drugs designed at Bath.

The international judging panel consisted of eminent academic and industrial names in the field of the life sciences.

Professor Potter’s award was presented by Professor Abraham Lee of the University of California USA at the end of May, in conjunction with a keynote lecture by biologist science writer and broadcaster Dr Adam Rutherford, an editor at the science journal Nature and writer for the Guardian.

The Society of Biology, the UK professional body that advises the Government and advances education and professional development in the life sciences, sponsored the awards. Professor Potter is an elected Fellow of the Society.

Professor Potter said: “The life sciences today are highly interdisciplinary and such work throws up many issues beyond just the science itself. Although my group specializes in the chemical aspects of life science, success is often significantly also about human chemistry between collaborators in the wider sense.

“It’s always a great honour to receive recognition such as this and I want to pay special tribute to close colleagues especially at Bath, past and present, who have worked with me in this area and our other collaborators over the years, all of whom are also recognized through this award.”

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