Research Horizons is the University of Cambridge’s research magazine.
Foreword from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research:
Welcome to the 33rd issue of Research Horizons, in which we focus on Future Therapeutics.
Nanobots small enough to move around our bloodstream, damaged hearts repaired with ‘off-the-shelf’ pieces of beating tissue, genetic diseases cured by ‘molecular scissors’ that snip out and replace faulty DNA. These coming innovations – and many more – have the potential to change the face of therapeutic medicine.
Meanwhile, a step change is happening in the pipeline from Petri dish to pill. Major efforts are being directed at strengthening the collaboration between academia and industry at several stages of the drug development process to reduce the high rates of drug failure in clinical trials.
This issue of Research Horizons covers some of these discoveries and developments happening right now in Cambridge. It comes at an exciting time, as the Cambridge Biomedical Campus continues to flourish and grow. It also coincides with the launch of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences – an initiative that aims to forge new links between academic research, biotech, big pharma and the NHS, to help smooth the translation of fundamental and applied research into patient treatments.
Elsewhere in the issue we cover ground-breaking work on pregnancy at our Centre for Trophoblast Research and at the Barcroft Centre, a newly opened sister research facility. We also shed light on the networks behind people smuggling in Europe, and hear about a political leader’s manoeuvring to make his nation “great again”. We learn how electron ‘spin’ could hold the key to managing the world’s growing data demands, and we discover why we should eat millet with everything.
Finally, in our Things article, you’ll find an assortment of items from our museums, archives, library and botanic garden connected by India. We’ve made a short series of films to tell each of their stories as part of India Unboxed, a year-long celebration across Cambridge to mark the UK–India Year of Culture.
We hope you enjoy this issue.
Professor Chris Abell
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research