Scientific Advisory Board

To help us stay at the forefront of emerging developments, Astex Pharmaceuticals has assembled a broad range of globally recognized experts in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

  • Professor Sir Tom Blundell, FRS Chairman
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    Tom Blundell was the Sir William Dunn Professor of Biochemistry and Head of Department and Head of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge until September 2009 when he was appointed Director of Research and Professor Emeritus. He is a world-leader in research on protein structure and function, having pioneered many aspects of the protein structure field, and is an authority on structure-based drug design and protein bioinformatics. He has also played an active role in UK national science policy in appointments as Director General of the AFRC (1991-1994) and Chief Executive of the BBSRC (1994-1996). He is presently President of the UK Science Council and Deputy Chair of the Trustees of the Institute of Cancer Research. He co-founded Astex Therapeutics Limited (formerly Astex Technology Limited) in 1999.

  • Christopher Abell, PhD
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    Chris Abell is Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and the Todd Hamied Fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge. His major research interest is the development of fragment-based methods for the generation of chemical tools and therapeutics, with particular interests in disrupting protein-protein interactions and drug development against tuberculosis. He also leads a group developing microdroplets as a new technology platform for experimental science. Professor Abell has held visiting professorships in France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. He co-founded Astex Therapeutics Limited (formerly Astex Technology Limited) in 1999 and is also a co-founder of Akubio and Sphere Fluidics.

  • Simon F. Campbell, CBE, FRS, FMedSci
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    Simon Campbell is a synthetic organic chemist who joined Pfizer in 1972 and retired in 1998 as Head of WW Discovery. He was a key member of the reserach teams that discovered Cardura, Norvasc and Viagra, and has co-authored over 110 publications and patents. Dr. Campbell has recived various honours and awards over his career including election to the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences, served as President of the Roayl Society of Chemistry, and was appointed CBE for Services to Science. Dr. Campbell currently acts as a scientific consultant to biotech, charities and funding agencies in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US.

  • Stephen Frye, PhD
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    Stephen Frye is a professor and director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completion of his PhD he worked at the newly initiated US research site for Glaxo Inc. and subsequently led the project that resulted in Avodart, GSK’s dual-reductase inhibitor for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Following Glaxo’s merger with Wellcome in 2000 he established a new chemistry department based upon kinase target-class science and oncology where both Tykerb (a dual erbB2/EGFR inhibitor approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer) and Pazopanib (in Phase III trials for renal carcinoma) were discovered. He joined the pharmacy school in October 2007 to create the CICBDD in cooperation with the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the School of Medicine, and the Department of Chemistry.

  • David (Herbie) R. Newell, PhD
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    Herbie Newell is Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at Newcastle University, and was Director of Translational Research at Cancer Research UK from 2006 to 2009 and interim Executive Director of Clinical and Translational Research in 2007/8. He was the founding Scientific Director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University, and is Past-Chairman of the British Association for Cancer Research and of the Laboratory Research Division of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Professor Newell was involved in the development of the registered agents carboplatin (Paraplatin) and ralitrexed (Tomudex), and is currently working on the discovery and development of molecularly targeted anticancer drugs and associated predictive and pharmacological biomarkers. His specific drug discovery research interests include the identification of enzyme and protein-protein interaction inhibitors, using both structural biology and computational chemistry, and their evaluation in pre-clinical tumour models. Imaging techniques where Professor Newell has research interests include both pre-clinical and clinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging. He is an author of over 200 scientific articles and an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. In addition to his academic work, Professor Newell has consulted widely for both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In 2011, Professor Newell was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences.

  • Robert M. Stroud, PhD
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    Robert Stroud is Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Stroud's research focus includes understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in transmembrane transporters and signaling receptors, ion channels, signal transduction, and HIV-host interactions using X-ray crystallography. He has pioneered the use of structure-based drug design on many targets, including thymidylate synthase and HIV/SIV proteins. Stroud, who was educated in Cambridge, England, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and founding fellow of the Biophysical Society, and has published more than 300 publications in leading scientific journals, including Nature and Science.

  • Paul Workman, FMedSci, FRSC
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    Professor Paul Workman is Harrap Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Director of the ICR’s Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics. He is also Deputy CEO of the ICR and Head of its Division of Cancer Therapeutics. He leads a large interdisciplinary research team that has been responsible for, or associated with, the selection of several innovative new drugs that have entered the clinic in the past 5 years including the HSP90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 and the PI3 kinase inhibitor GDC-0941. His research interests are in the design and application of chemical probes, the discovery and development of molecular cancer therapeutics aimed at ‘drugging the cancer genome’ and the development of personalized molecular medicines for cancer. Alongside drug discovery, Professor Workman has led research to identify and utilize predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers and originated the now widely used concept of the ‘pharmacological audit trail.’ He is Deputy Editor of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and Review Editor for Cancer Cell. Professor Workman has given numerous invited keynote lectures and has published over 400 research articles together with a number of patents and has edited several books and journal issues on the discovery and development of molecular pharmacology of cancer drugs. He has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry George and Christine Sosnovsky Award in Cancer Therapy and the AACR Team Science Award 2012, and the Royal Society of Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012, and has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was a scientific founder of Chroma Therapeutics and of Piramed Pharma (acquired by Roche).