High Force Research team member David Chisholm, is celebrating completing his Biological Chemistry PhD from Durham University.

David has spent the last four years studying synthetic retinoids and their potential uses for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. His postgraduate research, undertaken with Ph.D. supervisor Professor Andrew Whiting from Durham University’s School of Chemistry, was sponsored by High Force Research.

David, who recently joined the team High Force Research will continue his post-doctoral research, which is being co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and High Force Research from his new base at High Force Research’s Wilton Centre laboratory in Teesside.

It is part of a new two year project, funded by the BBRSC and led by a team of scientists at the University of Aberdeen in conjunction with Durham University and High Force Research, that is researching a synthetic version of retinoic acid usually created from vitamin A that interacts with the body’s natural receptors in the brain in an even more powerful way than regular retinoic acid. It is hoped the research will contribute towards the development of therapeutics – primarily for Alzheimer’s but potentially Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Commenting on the news, David said:  “I’m very pleased to have completed my PhD and that all the hard work paid off in the end. It has been a great experience and I have particularly enjoyed being able to collaborate with scientists from different disciplines and institutions. I am now looking forward to carrying on the project at the Wilton Centre with High Force Research.”

High Force Research’s Dr Neil Sim said: “We’re delighted that David has completed his PhD – it’s testament to his skill as a chemist and the outstanding work he has been undertaking on the joint synthetic retinoid research project with Durham University and the University of Aberdeen. David recently joined our Wilton Centre team and we’re looking forward to observing how his research progresses in the coming months.”