The Institute of Pharmaceutical Science
The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IPS) at King's College London (KCL), was created in November 2010 and is part of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Academic Group (CAG). It provides undergraduate education and a range of postgraduate courses including Pharmaceutical Sciences and PhD programmes in a variety of fields.
Staff in the IPS are focused on gaining a detailed understanding of the human pathological state and safely employing this knowledge to discover, design, develop and deliver drugs to the patient with a view to treating or managing disease. Importantly, staff take a multidisciplinary approach to the development of therapeutically active compounds, from their earliest stages of conception at the bench, through to their presentation as medicines. The IPS helps to achieve this as the activities of pharmacists, chemists, pharmacologists, microbiologists, biochemists, physiologists, toxicologists and analytical scientists have been brought together in an environment where high-quality research can flourish.
Research at IPS
Research focuses on the following themes: clinical practice and medication use; drug delivery (e.g. dermal, transdermal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal); synthetic chemistry (drug discovery); chemical biology; pharmaceutical biophysics; and pharmacology and therapeutics (lung biology, pulmonary pharmacology, blood brain barrier). Research is also conducted by staff in the trust partners; this centres on intensive care, paediatrics and formulation development (Guy's and St Thomas'), pharmacy practice (King's College Hospital), audit and quality improvement (all trusts) and clinical psychopharmacology (South London and Maudsley). There is integration of research conducted by trusts with KCL themes, particularly in clinical practice and medication use.
The IPS has expertise in the development of a broad range of biological assays and analytical techniques for the evaluation of novel drugs and mechanisms of action. IPS also has considerable research strengths in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology, analytical science and medicinal chemistry, including molecular modelling.
The IPS has particular strength in pulmonary pharmacology with excellent collaboration existing between pharmacologists and drug delivery specialists; this includes work on an Medical Reasearch Council-supported project to investigate the safety and tolerability of inhaled nanoparticles.
Members of the IPS are also actively involved in improving the use of medicines in clinical practice. Significantly, King’s Health Partners acts as the hub for the South London Health Innovation Education Cluster (HIEC) – this is leading to the creation of a Centre for Effective Medicines Use, an initiative currently led by the IPS.
Impact and Innovation at the IPS
The IPS, in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Sciences CAG, is working hard to improve the nature, substance and quality of healthcare and its delivery in London and beyond. Academics in the IPS have a multiplicity of collaborations with industry (e.g. Pfizer, GSK, Vifor, GW Pharma, Verona Pharma, Helperby, Novartis, Unilever, Reckitt) which have led to the award of research grants, consultancy agreements, CASE studentships and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
The IPS is committed to the training of better scientists and clinicians and to encouraging faster translation and adoption of the output of research and innovation in pharmaceutical sciences into practice. The Institute also collaborates widely and aims to become the premier pharmaceutical science research and teaching institution inexorably bound to clinical practice in the UK and beyond.
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