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Head of Chemistry, Drug Discovery Unit

1992 - 1994

  • Post Doctoral Associate, University of Cambridge

1994- 2005

  • Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer/ Reader in Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiff University

2005 -

  • Head of Chemistry, Drug Discovery Unit

Ian contributed to the set up the DDU and continues to define and support the strategic direction of the unit. As Head of Chemistry Ian leads the chemistry teams on DDU projects, setting strategic objectives and managing progress against milestones.

As a medicinal chemist, Ian’s research interests are primarily in the design and synthesis of potential drugs with a particular focus on:

  • Diseases of the developing world, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), Leishmaniasis and Malaria
  • Novel approaches to and paradigms for drug discovery
  • Chemical validation of drug targets, including novel targets for which there is little or no precedence for drug discovery
  • Chemical methods for drug delivery

He has experience in taking medicinal chemistry projects from inception through to candidate selection, managing projects according to Progression Criteria defined from Target Product Profiles. He leads in the selection of molecular targets for drug discovery programmes, defining valid drug targets as well as validating novel molecular targets from a chemistry perspective.

In addition to target-based approaches to drug discovery, Ian has led a significant number of phenotypic programmes taking projects from hit validation, through hit to lead, and into lead optimisation. He played a lead role in the development of a DDU novel antimalarial, recently selected as a candidate by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and expected to enter in to clinical development in 2015. Ian has also been instrumental in projects that are now in lead optimisation for leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and African animal trypanosomiasis.

Ian has a wide experience in synthetic medicinal chemistry and molecular modelling and has interests in using fragment-based approaches to drug discovery, both in developing novel fragments and in utilising these in drug discovery programmes. He also has a long-standing interest developing and using novel computational methods to facilitate the drug discovery process.