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Personal profile

Biography

 

I am currently a Reader in Drug Discovery and Director of the Drug Discovery Core. I have experience in drug discovery and in managing programmes with both academic and industrial components across a variety of disease indications. I directed a successful Wellcome Trust SDD-funded programme, which delivered a clinical candidate now approaching Phase 2 trials in Alzheimer’s disease. I am co-investigator on a joint University of Edinburgh/GSK DPAc collaboration to develop new medicines for the treatment of acute pancreatitis. Current projects also include a joint collaboration with Sanofi/Genzyme to discover new medicines for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. My previous roles include Head of Enzymology at PanTherix Ltd, where I was responsible for antimicrobial drug discovery programmes employing structure-based design. I have broad experience including medicinal chemistry, protein biochemistry, pharmacology and in vitro screening.

My research in a nutshell

The primary focus of my research is drug discovery. I conduct translational research with a focus on discovering and developing small molecules as drugs for the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, acute pancreatitis, liver fibrosis and multiple sclerosis. This is research is highly collaborative with close involvement of both academic and industrial collaborators across a range of discplines. My research has led to the discovery of a number of potent small molecule inhibitors of target enzymes, with the most advanced compound, UE2343 (XanamemTM), out-licensed and progressing through clinical trials in humans. My group provides expertise in target validation through assay devlopment and in vitro screening to lead optimisation and clinical candidate selection.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995

Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1991

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