Division of Signal Transduction Therapy

Division of Signal Transduction Therapy
Division of Signal Transduction Therapy
Formation 1998
Leader Philip Cohen, Peter Downes, Dario Alessi
Parent organization University of Dundee
Affiliations AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Serono and Pfizer
Budget £2.75 million/year
Staff 200
Website http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/dstt/

The Division of Signal Transduction Therapy or DSTT is an organization managed by the University of Dundee and pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Serono and Pfizer. The purpose of the collaboration is to do general cell signaling research and to encourage development of therapeutic protein kinase inhibitors and phosphatases. It is one of the largest ever collaborations between the commercial pharmaceutical industry and any academic research institute.


Organizational resources and management

The organization was founded in 1998. In 2003 the organization's existence was renewed with £15 million funding, and in 2008 further renewed with £11 million. It is made up of nearly 200 scientific and support staff in the University of Dundee. The amount of funding and staff make DSTT the largest collaboration between the for-profit pharmaceutical industry and a university in the United Kingdom.[1]

Under the DSTT's agreement, the commercial companies and the DSTT share access to their unpublished results, equipment, and staff expertise in the participating laboratories. The university staff gets steady funding, while the commercial companies get rights to license certain intellectual property produced. The DSTT does not conduct contract research on behalf of member companies; 60% of the budget is consumed by basic research chosen by the companies and the remaining 40% is used to provide analytical services and maintain the collection of reagents. The DSTT itself produces protein and lipid kinases and phosphatases, and also targets for high-throughput screening. These reagents are prerequisites to the development of new drug leads, and the variety kept available by the DSTT is vast compared to what typical laboratories keep.[1]


The focus of the DSTT is the study of protein phosphorylation.

Protein phosphorylation is a principal control mechanism in almost all aspects of cellular regulation of most organisms.[citation needed] Abnormalities in phosporylation contribute to many classes of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.


The University of Dundee received a Queen's Anniversary Prize in recognition of the DSTT being a model for research sharing between academic and commercial sectors.[2] Elizabeth II and Prince Philip presented the prize on 16 February 2006.


  1. ^ a b "Division of Signal Transduction Therapy". Dundee's College of Life Science website. University of Dundee. http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/dstt/. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Prizewinners 2005". Queen's Anniversary Prize. Royal Anniversary Trust. http://www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 

External links

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