My first degree was in Chemistry, and I then stayed on at Oxford to study for my DPhil with George Fleet on the total synthesis of analogues of the antimycoplasmic agent pseudomonic acid. I then moved to the CRC Experimental Cancer Chemotherapy Research Group at Aston University, working with Andy Gescher, John Hickman and Malcolm Stevens on protein kinase C inhibitors as antitumour agents. This awakened an interest in both cancer chemotherapy and computational chemistry. I next moved to the CRC Biomolecular Structure Unit at the Institute of Cancer Research, where with Stephen Neidle I was able to pursue molecular modeling full time, and also developed a particular interest in nucleic acid structure and recognition. In 1995 I took up a lectureship in the School of Pharmacy at Nottingham, was promoted to Reader in 2001, and to Professor in Computational Pharmaceutical Science in 2017.
Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design
The development and application of new computational methods for the design and development of drugs and medicines.
Computational methods for the design and prediction of the structures, dynamics, and properties of biomolecules (proteins and nucleic acids).
My research focuses on the understanding of molecular recognition in biological systems, and the application of this to projects in medicinal chemistry (drug design and development) and… read more
My research focuses on the understanding of molecular recognition in biological systems, and the application of this to projects in medicinal chemistry (drug design and development) and pharmaceutical chemistry (formulation design and development). My core research specialism is computational chemistry, and more specifically molecular dynamics simulations of biological macromolecules (proteins and nucleic acids) and their complexes with each other and with small ligands. For this work we make use of, and develop software for, some of the largest computational facilities in the world, including the UK national service (ARCHER) and the US service (XSEDE). Current work includes the development and application of new in silico drug screening methods (with Shailesh Mistry and Barrie Kellam in Pharmacy, with Nick Holliday in the School of Life Sciences, and with Shantenu Jha at Rutgers, USA), studies on polymer-drug interactions (with Martin Garnett, Jonathan Burley and Cameron Alexander), and studies on nucleic acid structure and recognition (with Modesto Orozco at Barcelona, and Sarah Harris at Leeds).
Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (& Chartered Chemist)
- Member of the executive committee of the EPSRC Collaborative Computational Project for Biomolecular Simulation (CCP-BioSim)
- Member of the executive committee of the EPSRC High-End Computing Consortium for Biomolecular Simulation (HECBiosim)
We are exploring how exciting and powerful developments in other parts of the digital world - the cloud, the internet of things, social media, big data - can be brought to the process of drug and medicines design and development.