AstraZeneca to Collaborate with Tufts University on Neuroscience Research

AstraZeneca to Collaborate with Tufts University on Neuroscience Research
July 17, 2013

AstraZeneca and Tufts University's School of Medicine and Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences are collaborating to establish a team of postdoctoral researchers that will work to advance understanding of diseases and disorders of the brain, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, neurodevelopmental and autism spectrum disorders. As part of a three-year agreement, the new team will conduct cutting-edge laboratory research into biological targets of interest in the field of neuroscience.

"AstraZeneca is committed to neuroscience research and we are proud to work with Tufts University on this initiative to advance our understanding of disease pathophysiology," said Mike Poole M.D., vice president of the AstraZeneca Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit. "The patient need for new treatments across the neuroscience spectrum is growing and my team has the flexibility to work with the best institutions to advance the science and translate it into new medicines."

Under the leadership of Stephen Moss, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, the team will explore a variety of neurological pathways implicated in brain disease. Moss, a leading expert in synaptic inhibition, a determinant of neuronal excitability and behavior, will serve as principal investigator and oversee the research, along with Drs. John Dunlop and Nick Brandon from AstraZeneca. "This collaboration offers an exciting opportunity to translate basic science findings into new treatments for a range of unmet clinical needs," said Dr. Moss.

The group's research will complement the work of the AstraZeneca Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit, which is a small team that advances neuroscience discovery research and early development exclusively via external partners in biotech, contract research organizations, pharma and academia. With recruitment of between seven and 10 researchers already underway, the new collaboration is designed to complete initial hiring by year's end and advance the delivery of potential new drug compounds and validated targets for entry in the AstraZeneca portfolio at the discovery stage.

Supporting postdoctoral researchers is an important part of AstraZeneca's commitment to science and the delivery of new medicines across all of the therapy areas in which the company engages. AstraZeneca currently houses more than 55 internal post docs and regularly hires additional candidates from a range of disciplines including biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, cell biology, pharmacology, computational biology, chemistry (organic, bioorganic, medicinal, synthetic), biophysics, structural biology, DMPK and pharmaceutical development. AstraZeneca postdoctoral scientists collaborate with leading academic advisors who provide additional support and guidance. They are encouraged to attend and present at international scientific conferences and publish their findings in peer review journals. Further support is provided through a comprehensive training program, including core training on drug discovery and development, and through existing local and global postdoctoral communities within AstraZeneca.

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AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

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