The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) is now leading the UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network (UKPGx). The UKPGx Network was set up in 2010 to develop research collaborations between academics, clinicians, industry researchers, and the regulatory sector. The aim of these partnerships is to promote the use of stratified and personalised medicine in clinical settings, so that patients can be offered the most appropriate and safest medicines, at the optimal dose, from the very start of their treatment. Since its launch, the UKPGx Network has grown in membership and impact. By taking on leadership of the Network, the BPS will be able to help manage the larger membership and support further development of opportunities and collaborations.
What’s next for the network?
Members of the Network will continue to receive regular news updates and can still look forward to several events hosted throughout the year, including the UKPGx Annual Open Meeting which will next take place in June 2024.
In October 2023, the BPS and UKPGx Network will mark the new collaboration by hosting a joint track at The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG)’s Drug Discovery 2023, in Liverpool. The track, titled ‘Drug development and drug repurposing: strategies for enhancing success rates’, will be chaired by Professor Sir Pirmohamed and will take place on Thursday 18 October.
While the British Pharmacological Society and the UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network will remain separate member networks, we encourage BPS members to join the UKPGx Network for free, and members of the UKPGx Network are invited to join the BPS, where they will have free access to three world-class pharmacology journals, discounted rates for events and webinars, access to funding via awards, grants and bursaries, and further opportunities to network with pharmacologists around the world.
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, who founded the Network in 2010, and was the President of the BPS from 2020-2022, will remain as the Network’s Chair. He said,
The UK is a world leader in genomic medicine, thanks in no small part to the members of the UK Pharmacogenetics Stratified Medicines Network. As the Chair of the Network and former-President of the British Pharmacological Society, I am excited for this collaboration and what it holds for the future of stratified medicine and pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics in the UK.
Dr Christine McNamee, who has acted as the Network Manager for many years, will sadly be standing down. She said,
Having worked with the UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network since 2014, I’m so proud of how much it’s grown. Thanks to the steering committee and members for all their support helping to develop great events, and multidisciplinary collaborations, to move personalised medicine forward. I’m confident that the BPS will do a great job of leading the Network and wish them and the Network every success for the future.
To get in contact with the UKPGx Network going forward, please email the team at UKPGx@bps.ac.uk
BPS championing pharmacogenomics
Pharmacogenomics/pharmacogenetics has been a key focus for the BPS over the last few years. In 2022, the Society partnered with the Royal College of Physicians to publish the ‘Personalised Prescribing’ report, led by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, which explains how the NHS could implement pharmacogenomic testing for patients. Later that year, fellow BPS members Dr Emma Magavern and Dr Richard Turner joined Sir Munir and presented the report to MPs and peers at Evidence Week 2022. While hosting the 19th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (WCP2023), the BPS made pharmacogenomics one of the key tracks in the programme, featuring several sessions including keynotes lectures by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed and Professor Sir Mark Caulfield on ‘Pharmacogenomics, clinical pharmacology and clinical implementation - progress and barriers’ and ‘Transformation of genomic healthcare’.
An important partnership
Professor Clive Page OBE, President of the British Pharmacological Society and Professor of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King's College London, said,
I am pleased to have the UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network join us as another arm of the BPS. Sir Munir, Christine and everyone involved have done a great job of setting up and growing the network over the last 13 years, allowing important research collaborations to foster.The BPS staff team and I look forward to working with the Network leaders and members to create more opportunities for networking and partnerships.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, President-elect of the British Pharmacological Society; Vice Principal for Health and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Queen Mary’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry; CEO of Barts Life Sciences; and former-Chief Scientist for Genomics England, said,
We are excited to take on the leadership of the UKPGx Network at a time when personalised and precision medicine hold the key to delivering better care, improving patient outcomes and alleviating pressure on the NHS. I’m particularly pleased that the network will continue to support those early in their careers. I would also like to thank Munir, Christine and the steering committee for its work over the years.
Rachel Lambert Forsyth, CEO of the British Pharmacological Society, said,
The British Pharmacological Society has carried out considerable work to promote pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics to wider audiences and to support researchers and clinicians in the field. Leading the UKPGx Network will allow us to carry on this great work, with the support and collaboration of the steering committee and members. I look forward to working with and meeting many of you from the Network at upcoming events!
Find out more about ELRIG's Drug Discovery 2023, including the BPS/UKPGx track
Read more about the BPS/RCP joint ‘Personalised Prescribing’ report
Watch recordings of Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed and Professor Sir Mark Caulfield’s keynote lectures on pharmacogenomics, plus 63 other sessions totalling over 100 hours of content on the WCP2023 Digital Platform (Existing WCP2023 delegates can access the recordings for free by following the instructions sent via email on 13 September 2023).
Get in touch with us: UKPGx@bps.ac.uk