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Join us at Rough Trade on the 23rd May for an exciting look at the lifesaving research going on in Nottingham. We’ll hear from scientists using nature as inspiration for medicine, discovering the surprising medicinal benefits of Cannabis and identifying new approaches to cancer therapy. You will also have the chance to look down our microscopes at a collection of slides to see different cells and gain an insight into the basic building blocks of life. All ages welcome.
Looking to nature for the medicines of the future
Throughout human evolutionary history we’ve looked to the world around us for medicines to treat all sorts of conditions, a habit we share with many other animal species. Even with the advent of the industrial age, many of our most effective and widely-used drugs are derived from natural sources. Aspirin? Willow bark. Morphine? Poppies. Ivermectin? Soil bacteria. The search for new medicines in nature has won Nobel prizes and saved countless lives. This mission is all the more urgent today as we race to learn what hides within our most diverse ecosystems before they are lost forever.
Cannabis Sativa as a treasure-trove of medicines
The flowering bud of the Cannabis plant contains nearly 100 different chemicals that are being investigated as potential new medicines in a diverse range of medical disorders from epilepsy to incontinence. My research is focused on whether any of these compounds might be useful in cardiovascular disorders like heart attacks and strokes, and whether any of these compounds might be useful in metabolic conditions like diabetes or obesity. Over a pint, I would like to show you some of our data to help convince you that Cannabis may be a treasure-trove of safe new medicines.
Cancer genomes and the future of cancer therapy
Standard treatments such as radio- and chemotherapy for cancer have met significant success and the survival rate for many cancers has improved dramatically over the past 40 years. However, these broad approaches carry many unwanted side-effects and they are not always effective. We have now entered a period in which our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer has allowed new drugs to be developed that might overcome these limitations. I will discuss the latest approaches that could revolutionize cancer treatment considering how sequencing genomes is contributing to this progress.