Masterclass with Professor Derek Mann



  • Tuesday, 31/08/2021
  • 11:00 - 12:00

Online Event

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Join Professor Derek Mann as he shares his innovation journey.

During this one hour webinar, Derek Mann will talk through his academic career working in translational research and his collaborative work with industry. He’ll share his top tips and talk through his experience and the valuable insights gained to understand the challenges of research for patient benefit.

In 2019 Derek Mann encouraged the senior academic team of the Newcastle Fibrosis Research Group to exploit their technology innovations in disease modelling to establish the Newcastle University spinout contract research organisation FibroFind Ltd.

FibroFind has found success working with 50+ global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients to facilitate pre-clinical drug discovery and development in chronic disease. It specialises in the development and use of human tissue models to interrogate drug efficacy and toxicity, and work to date has already led to advancement of novel drugs into clinical trials.

Derek Mann will be available for a short Q&A and discussion session at the end of the webinar, offering insight and advice to those on route to drug discovery and with commercialisation ambitions.

This event will be of particular interest to PhD students, early career researchers, postdoctoral fellows and PIs with early stage ideas in life sciences interested in translation of research, accelerating science towards impact and developing skills for career progression. 

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Speaker

Derek began his scientific career at Hull General Hospital as a blood transfusion & haematology technician before studying for his BSc and PhD in London. He began his research career in neurobiology focusing on control of neuronal gene expression before moving to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where he worked on the control of HIV gene expression. In 1994 he took up a lectureship at the University of Southampton where he became interested in the biology of liver fibrosis, a field in which he established his international academic career. In 2006 he moved with his research team to Newcastle University (NU) where he set up and has built the Newcastle Fibrosis Research Group (NFRG) (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/fibrosislab) which takes a multi-organ and interdisciplinary approach to research on chronic disease. Over the past 15 years the NFRG has developed programmes of work on the molecular biology of fibrosis, inflammageing and its role in liver disease and more recently the immunobiology of liver cancer with a specific focus on neutrophils as targets for improving immunotherapy. Derek served as Dean of Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at NU from 2016 to 2020 during which time he brought beneficial changes to career development pathways for non-clinical fellows, in particular a fair and transparent review process leading to award of open-ended contracts. Derek has spent the majority of his career working in translational research and has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with industry including a 10+ year relationship with GSK that delivered two consecutive MRC programme grants. From these collaborations he has gained valuable insights into the challenges of research for patient benefit which in 2019 led to him encouraging the senior academic team of the NFRG to exploit their technology innovations in disease modelling to establish the NU spinout contract research organisation FibroFind Ltd (https://www.fibrofind.com). FibroFind are a remarkable success story, now working with 50+ global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients to facilitate pre-clinical drug discovery and development in chronic disease. FibroFind specialise in the development and use of human tissue models to interrogate drug efficacy and toxicity, their work to date has already led to advancement of novel drugs into clinical trials. Throughout his career, Derek has had a passion for mentorship and training of the next generation of scientists, as a result he has mentored many of his former students and postdocs to successful academic careers including five full professors and several junior academics who are running their own research groups. According to Scopus, Derek has a career total of 182 publications, an h index of 58. In 2017 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is currently Professor of Hepatology at NU.

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