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Department of Pharmacology


Recent research project titles in Part II Pharmacology

The department offers a wide range of research projects, which are undertaken during the Lent Term. Below are a selection of projects offered recently. The subheadings are fairly arbitrary – many projects have clear impact in a range of areas – but hopefully convey the breadth of research topics available.

Understanding receptors

  • The role of intracellular loop 1 of the adenosine A2a receptor in mediating signalling bias
  • Biased agonists of the Apelin receptor
  • RAMP-directed signalling bias of the calcitonin-receptor-like receptor
  • Visualizing activation-induced structural changes in ionotropic glutamate receptors using AFM imaging

Intracellular signalling

  • Repurposing known drugs as inhibitors of the store-operated calcium entry pathway
  • How do intracellular Ca2+ stores refill?
  • Calcium responses underlying Insulin-like peptide 5 signalling in mouse colonic epithelium
  • Effects of fluoride on ion transport in epithelial cell monolayers


  • Characterisation of sensory neurones using retrograde tracing
  • Role of Ca2+ signals in chemotaxis of glioma cells

Cardiovascular pharmacology

  • The effect of shear stress on the prothrombotic responses of the endothelium
  • Cl- -sensing properties of WNK4 modulates K+ homeostasis in the distal nephron
  • ‘Surfing the PHOME’: extending and probing the druggable platelet proteome
  • Elucidating the mechanisms underlying neutrophil recruitment to the vascular endothelium
  • Novel vasoactive peptides and cardio-metabolic function

Cancer pharmacology

  • Novel approaches for the inhibition and degradation of intracellular protein targets associated with pancreatic and colorectal cancers
  • Investigating the biology of BCL11A in basal-like breast cancer
  • Searching for modifiers of Aurora kinase stability using tandem fluorescent protein tags

Antibacterial pharmacology

  • Evaluating the intrinsic mammalian toxicity of some molecules that inhibit lipoteichoic acid synthase of Gram-positive bacteria
  • Transport mechanism of a multidrug transporter from Vibrio cholera


Recent pharmacology dissertation titles offered in Part II BBS

The department offers a wide range of dissertation titles for students taking Part II BBS. Below are a selection of titles offered recently. The subheadings are somewhat arbitrary, but hopefully convey the wide scope of themes on offer and the huge importance of pharmacology to biomedical science.

New therapeutic strategies

  • Therapeutic potential of intrabodies
  • Targeting protein-protein interactions as a therapeutic strategy
  • The use of pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine
  • Quantitative systems pharmacology – is this the future of drug discovery?
  • Is germline CRISPR editing ready for the clinic?
  • Impact of big data on drug R&D and healthcare
  • Targeting virulence as a potential strategy for combating pathogenic bacteria
  • Pharmacological chaperones and their application in treating diseases

Challenging the dogma

  • Is aspirin a useful anti-thrombotic?
  • Are SSRIs really competitive inhibitors of SERT?
  • What are the mechanisms of drug entry in cells and tissues?
  • The relative significance of drugs and diet in influencing plasma lipid levels?

Understanding disease to guide therapy

  • The amyloid hypothesis and potential treatments for neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes
  • The role of neutrophils in arterial thrombosis
  • What are the links between hypoxia and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease)?
  • Is chronic visceral pain a manifestation of central or peripheral processes?
  • Bacterial host interactions in the development of chronic visceral pain: does early life exposure to pathogen influence pain sensitivity in adulthood?
  • Bacterial host interactions in cystic fibrosis

From molecular mechanism to drug target

  • Targeted degradation of CFTR: prospects for therapeutic interventions in CF
  • Duel glucagon and glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists as new treatments for type II diabetes
  • The structure of the exocytotic fusion pore
  • How do SNAREs mediate membrane fusion?
  • Trapping pain with TRPs: are TRP channels good targets for alleviating pain?
  • Pharmacological intervention in the cell cycle
  • Lipid transporters in health and disease
  • Store-operated calcium entry pathway as a potential therapeutic target
  • Cellular functions of Bax inhibitor-1
  • Can the naked mole-rat cure cancer?