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Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences


Dr Krishna Bulusu, a senior postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry split his time 80/20 between AstraZeneca and the University during a 6-month Research Exchange Fellowship in the first half 2016.

As part of Dr Andreas Bender’s group, Bulusu particularly focussed on exploiting the wealth of biological and chemical knowledge available to generate biologically meaningful mode-of-action hypotheses for combinations of chemicals. 

“The main aim for the exchange fellowship was to build an in silico pipeline for the prediction of combination therapy in the treatment of cancer, which was made possible by access to AstraZeneca’s combination therapy dataset” Bulusu said.

“From a technical point of view, all goals were achieved and we are in the process of publishing our scientific and technical findings from this work. I have continued to collaborate with AstraZeneca beyond the timeframe of the fellowship and built up a great relationship with scientists there.” 

“The fellowship was a great opportunity for us to harness the unique expertise of Krishna and the Bender lab. Bringing Krishna inside AZ ensured that the methodological advances they have developed could be applied without restriction to a key dataset for us and have proven beneficial for our project teams” said Ben Sidders, Oncology Bioinformatics Team Leader at Astrazeneca.

Prior to taking up his postdoctoral position at Cambridge, Bulusu completed his PhD in Computational Biology and Structural Bioinformatics at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. When asked about his overall experience of working with AstraZeneca, he reflected “It was quite easy to get settled as the team at AZ worked openly with me and we quickly formed a trusting relationship. I found that meetings were more frequent than I was used to and work is very much application oriented, driven by a focus on output. Overall it has been a really rewarding experience for me, which has broadened my horizons in terms of considering my next career move.”  

Bulusu has now left the University of Cambridge to take up a new role as a Senior Scientist with AstraZeneca, from where he intends to continue collaborating with the Bender group.