Tocris Bioscience Prize 2008

Tocris Bioscience Awards Prize for Pharmacological Research

Sam Goodchild, Bristol University

Important new research that may help with certain brain disorders, as well as with improving our learning abilities, has been awarded the Tocris Bioscience prize. Sam Goodchild, a PhD student at the University of Bristol, was selected as the best pharmacology research student of his final year, winning a cash prize and a certificate.

″The insight gained from these studies paves the way for new drug design and potential future therapies that could enhance brain activities such as learning and memory processes,″ said Goodchild. ″Receiving the Tocris Bioscience Prize for Pharmacological Research is great recognition for the work that we do here.″

There are around 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and each one makes around 10,000 connections with other neurons, yet little is understood about how the activity of an individual neuron is controlled.

Working in Professor Neil Marrion's group in the Pharmacology Department of Bristol University, Goodchild has been trying to understand the structure of the proteins that control the activity of these neurons, developing new strategies that could be helpful in various brain disorders.

Duncan Crawford, Tocris' Chief Scientific Officer, said, ″It is a great pleasure to be able to present this award to Sam on behalf of Tocris Bioscience. We are pleased to continue our long tradition of links with the Department of Biomedical Science at Bristol and I am particularly delighted that so many of the experimental compounds used in Sam's research were sourced from Tocris″.

Head of Department, Professor Clive Orchard added ″Sam has clearly demonstrated excellence in his postgraduate research.″

The Tocris Bioscience prize is awarded annually to the best final year pharmacology PhD student at Bristol University, as selected by the department. Consisting of a cash award and certificate, the prize reflects the close links between the two organizations and their shared commitment to excellence in life science research. Tocris Bioscience products are used by scientists carrying out research in fields such as cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and obesity.

About Bristol University Pharmacology Department

University College, Bristol opened in October 1876 with two professors, five lecturers and 99 students. It was the first college in the country to admit men and women on an equal footing.

Today, Bristol is one of the leading universities in the country, with approximately 12,000 undergraduate and 6,000 post graduate students. The University organizes its academic affairs in some 45 departments and 15 research centres, arranged in six faculties.

The Pharmacology Department itself is one of the most successful in the UK and enjoys an international reputation for its research in neuropharmacology and cell signaling.

For more information about Bristol University please visit the website