From Concept to Centre of Excellence
The idea for the collaboration between the University of Glasgow and AstraZeneca, to create the GLAZgo Discovery Centre, formally came about in the spring of 2013. Early conversations between the Partners led to the realization that there was a meeting of minds on not only the scientific direction but also the operational aspects. Both were eager and willing to work on a new, more agile and highly integrated collaborative model, which could transform the way that academia and industry work together.
The Centre brings together the Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Innovative Medicine unit within AstraZeneca, a leading global biopharmaceutical businesses, which has expertise in drug discovery and development, and the University of Glasgow with its international reputation in the areas of infection, inflammation and immunology and excellence in linking basic science to our understanding of disease pathology.
With such a wealth of knowledge available within AstraZeneca and the University, the Centre will lead the way for future academic-industry partnerships with a free flowing bi-directional exchange of knowledge. This exchange of knowledge and skills focusing on achieving a better understanding of molecular targets in disease and in the appropriate patient subset drives high-impact scientific research and in turn will enable the development of more efficacious medicines for patients.
Since its commencement less than a year ago, the GLAZgo Discovery Centre is fully operational and delivering greater understanding of the role of specific immunological pathways. It currently has a core team of eight full-time research staff and also supports four PhD students. Furthermore, a two-way secondment programme between the Partners, to facilitate the exchange of expert knowledge and skills, has been set in motion. This open sharing of expertise is set to nurture the next generation of research leaders at the interface between academic medicine and drug discovery and development.
The commitment of both the University of Glasgow and AstraZeneca to the Centre has been demonstrated by the successful initiation of several other new research programs. The continued dedication of all involved will guarantee the success of this new and dynamic Partnership.