Quote of the Month: Professor Gareth Sanger

So if I go back perhaps over to the 5-HT3 work we did, that led to the development of anti-emetic drugs, and I think revolutionised the care of cancer patients. You’ve got to remember I never saw these patients. I heard the stories of transformed lives and so on, and they were great. What I did see though were at the time of an economic depression, was the reality of the fact that that work created jobs. I saw teams of people coming in both to the lab work and development work. I saw nurses being employed. I actually saw job creation, and that for a long time gave me the greatest pride. Sanger, Gareth: transcript of a video interview (08-Dec-2016)

Professor Gareth Sanger BSc PhD DSc FBPhS FRSB (b. 1953) received his BSc and PhD degrees in physiology from the Universities of Newcastle and Manchester (1974 and 1977), later returning to Manchester to be awarded his DSc in 1998. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at King’s College Hospital Medical School, London, where he was among the first to examine the functions of some of the newly discovered prostanoids on the human isolated gut. A move to industrial research led to his identification of a novel serotonin (5-HT) receptor-mediated function in the gut, later named by others as the 5-HT4 receptor. Parallel research led to the identification of the role of the 5-HT3 receptor in the mechanisms of emesis and to new drugs to treat severe emesis, for which he was jointly awarded the 1998 Discoverers Award by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Within industry he held various roles within the “discovery science” arm of the business, exploring multiple research areas and new drug targets, placing several novel compounds into development. In 2008 he was elected Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (FBPhS), and in 2009 he joined Queen Mary, University of London as Professor of Neuropharmacology. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) in 2013. His research focus is on the use of human gastrointestinal tissues for translational neuropharmacology, the consequences and mechanisms of advanced age on human bowel functions and on the mechanisms of disordered gastric movements during nausea. His first paper after establishing this new laboratory won a “highly commended” award from NC3Rs (National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research) for promoting a culture shift in the use of human tissues for functional research. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, served on editorial boards, teaches on BSc, MSc and MBBS courses and sits on advisory boards for gastrointestinal (GI) research within the pharmaceutical industry.