References 1 articles/nrd.2017.244. 2 https://www.astrazeneca. com/media-centre/articles/ 2017/harnessing-the-power-of- genomics-through-global- collaborations-and-scientific- innovation-12012018.html. 3 articles/ng.3314. 4 https://www.astrazeneca. com/content/astraz/media- centre/press-releases/2018/ astrazeneca-and-cancer- research-uk-launch-functional- genomics-centre-to-accelerate- the-discovery-of-new- medicines-10122018.html. 5 https://www.sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/S10445 79X17302742. 6 pmc/articles/PMC5449203/. 7 reports/fulltext/S2211- 1247(16)31335-3. 8 https://www.astrazeneca. com/content/astraz/media- centre/articles/2018/astrazenec a-shows-potential-of-gene- silencing-in-pancreatic-cells- 18102018.html. 9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/15829967. 10 pmc/articles/PMC5685774/. 11 pmc/articles/PMC3250072/. 12 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/26828195. 13

hidden within the human genome to create poten- tial life-changing therapies. There are also wider benefits for the scientific

community. The scale, costs and expertise required to run large-scale functional screens are prohibitive for most individual labs, but by working with Cancer Research UK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories, we are democratising access to this technology for the many thousands of scientists and clinicians funded by the charity. In particular, Cancer Research UK’s strategic focus is on hard-to- treat cancers

including lung, pancreatic,

oesophageal and brain tumours, which have seen small gains in survival over the years and where there is much to gain from the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches. By combining the power of genomics, CRISPR

screening and AI, the Functional Genomics Centre aims to bring powerful insights into some of the thorniest challenges in medicine and drug discov- ery today, particularly the rapid evolution of resis- tance to targeted therapies in oncology. Ultimately, we are confident that the Functional

Genomics Centre will help to advance science by bringing together academia and industry to reveal insights into the biology underpinning the mecha- nisms of disease, target validation and therapeutic resistance.


Dr Ultan McDermott is Chief Scientist – Oncology at AstraZeneca where he focuses on drug resis- tance in cancer. He is a clinician scientist with a lifelong interest in understanding how cancer genomes affect response to therapy in the clinic and, more recently, the use of genetic screens to identify mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer. Ultan also holds an Honorary Consultant post in the Oncology department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he treats colorectal cancer patients.

Dr Steve Rees is Vice-President of Discovery Biology at AstraZeneca with global responsibility for functional genomics, reagent generation and assay development. He is Chair of the European Laboratory Research and Innovation group (ELRIG) and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for LifeArc and the Centre for Membrane Protein and Receptor research at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham.

Dr Susan Galbraith is Senior Vice-President of Early Oncology at AstraZeneca. Susan is responsi- ble for the discovery and early development of molecules in the core biology areas of tumour

28 Drug Discovery World Spring 2019

drivers and resistance mechanisms, DNA damage response and epigenetics. Susan is regularly invited as a speaker/session chair at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), National Cancer Research Institute and European Society of Medical Oncology. She has also served on the AACR Scientific, Finance and Clinical Trial Committees and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr Mike Snowden is Senior Vice-President and Head

of Discovery Sciences, R&D

BioPharmaceuticals at AstraZeneca. His group focuses on internal and collaborative research to provide a comprehensive range of technical and translational activities to preclinical project teams including, HTS and SAR screening, X-ray crystal/biophysics support, statistics, bio-reagent generation and assay development capabilities.

Dr Menelas (Mene) Pangalos is Executive Vice- President and Head of R&D BioPharmaceuticals at AstraZeneca. Mene is responsible for R&D from discovery through to late-stage development for Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism (CVRM) and Respiratory diseases. One of AstraZeneca’s leading scientists, Mene has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and has served as editor of various books and journals.

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