Throughout August, the SDRC are celebrating our next generation of researchers by publishing a series of blogs to PhD Students/ Early Career Researchers.  For the first week, we are featuring those that were in the SDRC Impact Report 2019.

Our next blog is from Laura Aitken from the University of St Andrews. Laura’s research relates to the SDRC’s Fundamental Science theme, which you can find out more about here. Read Laura’s blog below:

I am currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I earned my BSc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Dundee (Scotland) in 2008 and received my PhD in Neurobiology from the University of St. Andrews in 2013.

 After a brief spell in Industry I returned to St. Andrews to work with Prof. Frank Gunn- Moore, where my post-doctoral studies have been a progression of my PhD work “investigating protein-protein interactions involved in Alzheimer’s disease and designing potential therapeutics against them”.

 Since 2013, I have characterised and developed several series of different compounds against a key drug target in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as leading a large HTS European grant collaboration; yielding two distinct analogue series of molecules which will shortly be entering “in vivo” pre-clinical trials.

 Currently, there are no disease modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and the constant need to learn, improve and challenge our knowledge of the disease to achieve this has been a huge driving factor behind my research.

 I am also a STEM ambassador who enjoys disseminating my research to the general public and inspiring the next generation of young scientists. My long-term aspirations include continuing to use this passion for research to contribute to the dementia field and forge my own path for an independent career in academia.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @lauraaitken10

The SDRC will be posting blogs featuring bios from ECRs throughout August. Follow us on Twitter so you can keep up to date with the series.