Chemistry professor wins international prize

Professor Eva Hevia receives the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK's Emerging Talent Award.

Professor Eva Hevia has received the inaugural Emerging Talent Award, made by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK. The award, sponsored by Banco Santander Foundation, aims to support young talent, encourage commitment from institutions and companies and promote knowledge exchange between countries.

Professor Hevia, who joined Strathclyde in 2006, specialises in organometallic chemistry. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals and has previously won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Harrison Memorial Medal and Prize ) and the RSEQ-Sigma-Aldrich Prize.

Professor Hevia said: “Although I have carried out most of my research activity in the UK, I have always strongly engaged with and indeed treasured my connections with the community of Spanish scientists.

“This award will allow me not only to significantly strengthen these links, by facilitating new collaborations and scientific exchanges with Spanish research groups, but also to greatly increase the visibility in Spain of my own research in the area of Organometallic Chemistry.

“SRUK offers continuous support and inspiration to the increasing number of Spanish scientists working in the UK, thus I feel genuinely honoured and privileged to be the recipient of this award in the inaugural edition.”

One of the strongest

Professor Ginés Morata, chair of the award’s scientific committee, said: "Eva Hevia is one of the strongest and most promising researchers in her field at an international level. She has a breathtaking research career, unusual for her age."  

Professor Hevia will use her award to support two internships in her laboratory for outstanding Spanish graduate students. She will also allocate part of the prize to reinforce relations with the Spanish scientific and raise the profile of organometallic chemistry.

News Archive 2018


Prostate cancer study shows promise for future treatment

A new ‘seek-and-destroy’ gene therapeutic system could have the potential to treat prostate cancer in the future, after it halted the majority of tumours in laboratory models at the University of Strathclyde and the Beatson Institute.

The system was used against two types of prostate tumour, causing 70% of one type and 50% of the other to vanish over a period of one month. These results are a promising start for the system as it continues its progress towards the clinic.

Prostate cancer is the fourth most widespread cancer in the world, the second most common in men and the most commonplace in Europe and North America. It causes the death of 300,000 patients worldwide each year and its incidence has continually increased over the last two decades.

The research has been published in the journal Drug Delivery. It involved researchers from Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Strathclyde’s Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

New approaches

Dr Christine Dufès, a Senior Lecturer in Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, led the research. She said: “Although some treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can be effective against localised tumours, there is still no effective treatment for patients whose cancer recurs or spreads. This means that new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed for these patients.

“Gene therapy could be highly promising for the treatment of prostate cancer, but its use is currently limited by the lack of delivery systems which can selectively deliver the therapeutic genes to the tumours without adverse side effects for healthy tissues.

"To address this, we develop a new ‘seek-and-destroy’ nanomedicine linked to an iron-carrying protein called lactoferrin, whose receptors are found in large amounts in many cancers. The results show that it is highly promising for the treatment of prostate cancer by gene therapy.”

The research was carried out on two prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3 and DU145, in laboratory settings.

The intravenous administration of the nanomedicine treatment resulted in the complete disappearance of 70% of the PC-3 tumours and half of the DU145 prostate tumours over one month.

The research was funded by Worldwide Cancer Research – formerly known as AICR.

Dr Matthew Lam, Science Communications Manager at Worldwide Cancer Research said: “We are delighted to see that this research is making the advances that could one day see gene therapy used to treat prostate cancer patients in the clinic. The clever chemistry employed in this study to enable the delivery of the treatment right at the heart of the tumour is a promising step forward.

“Our thanks goes to the brilliant supporters of Worldwide Cancer Research, whose generous donations have made this research possible.”

The study also received funding from Saudi Cultural Bureau, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Saudi Arabia and the Dunhill Medical Trust.