Drug Discovery Experts

Dr Mark Slack

Dr Mark Slack

Mark Slack, VP Academic Partnerships is responsible at Evotec for the establishment and execution of Evotec´s Academic BRIDGE. Through his EIR role Mark works closely with TTOs, leading academics and investors across Europe and North America to identify and develop novel drug discovery opportunities, to develop these through the preclinical drug discovery cascade, through to spinouts. Through his 20 years of drug discovery accrued within Evotec and Pharma, Mark provides operational guidance to help develop projects, to maximize their potential and build a sustainable investment portfolio.

Professor Richard Emes

Professor Richard Emes

Richard Emes is Professor of Bioinformatics at Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and Director of the University of Nottingham Advanced Data Analysis Centre ADAC.
Richard is Associate Faculty PVC for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Richard is a scientist with over 20 years of specialism in bioinformatics. He has extensive experience in genomics/evolution and development of novel solutions to complex biological problems. He initially trained at the MRC Functional Genomics Unit Oxford University where he was a central to the analysis, interpretation and writing of the mouse and rat international genome sequencing projects. He later built on this experience through research positions at the Sanger Institute Cambridge and later held an MRC Fellowship in Bioinformatics at University College London.

Research in the Emes lab focuses on the integration of genetic/genomic data and the development of methodologies to analyse these data. Significance and impact of his research have been through the creation of original software and comprehensive interpretation of complex biological data enabling challenging research to be undertaken. In 2012, he founded the University of Nottingham Advanced Data Analysis Centre (ADAC).

Professor Ruth A Roberts

Professor Ruth A Roberts, PhD, ATS, FBTS, ERT, FRSB, FRCPath

Professor Ruth A Roberts is Chair and Director of Drug Discovery at Birmingham University, UK and Cofounder of ApconiX, an integrated toxicology and ion channel company that brings together a team of world-renowned nonclinical safety experts with over 300 years of drug discovery and development experience. Before that Ruth was Global Head of Regulatory Safety at AstraZeneca (2004-2014) and Director of Toxicology for Aventis in Paris, France (2002-2004).

Professor Roberts received her BSc in Biochemistry and her PhD in Medical Oncology from the University of Manchester, UK. She is former president of EUROTOX, former president of the British Toxicology Society (BTS), a Fellow and past president of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS) and was elected fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2012 and of the Royal Society of Biology in 2014. She is currently Vice Chair of the Health and Environmental Science Institute (HESI) Board and has co-chaired the HESI Biomarkers of Neurotoxicity scientific committee since its inception in 2015.

Professor Roberts was the recipient of the SOT Achievement award in 2002, the EUROTOX Bo Holmstedt Award in 2009 and the SOT 2018 Founders award, given in recognition of outstanding leadership in fostering the role of toxicological sciences in safety decision making. With >150 publications in peer reviewed journals, she is interested in developing and implementing innovative models in drug discovery and development and particularly in ensuring academic research achieves its translational potential.

Dr Scott Webster

Professor Scott Webster

Professor Webster is Chair of Medicines Discovery at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh where, for more than a decade, he has specialised in translational research focused on discovering and developing small molecules as medicines for the treatment of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple organ dysfunction and fibrotic disease. Scott has over 20 years of drug discovery and development experience. His expertise includes protein biochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry and he has held positions in both biotech and academia. Notably, his team discovered a potent inhibitor of 11b-HSD1, advancing it through preclinical discovery and first time in human clinical development, before licensing it for Phase 2 clinical development in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Scott was co-investigator on a productive GSK Discovery Partnership with Academia collaboration, which led to the identification of two Phase 1 clinical develop candidates for the treatment of acute pancreatitis and multiple organ dysfunction. In addition, Prof Webster was formerly Head of Enzymology at PanTherix Ltd, leading preclinical programmes focused on anti-infective discovery.

Scott received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, where he also completed his post-doctoral training in protein biochemistry.

David Gray

David Gray

David joined the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit in 2010 as Head of Biology. He is responsible for a line team of more than 30 scientists with a diverse range of scientific expertise and is accountable for the quality and effectiveness of the biological experimental design and data that underpins all of the DDU portfolios of projects. He has a specific responsibility for the Unit’s Innovative Targets Portfolio which has an established track record of licencing and partnering exciting new approaches for diseases that are currently poorly treated. His impact at Dundee has been recognised by his appointment to a personal chair of Translational Biology.

David is involved in the set up and running of the Glasgow Lighthouse COVID diagnostic lab. Before his appointment at the University of Dundee, David spent 15 years in industry at GlaxoSmithKline. He was latterly Director of Screening & Compound Profiling.

David has been involved in projects delivering clinical candidates, including Fluticasone Furoate, which is a component of the marketed products Avamys, Relvar and Trelegy. These drugs are used to treat rhinitis, asthma and COPD. David has a Ph.D and B.Sc (Hons) in pharmacology from UCL and Glasgow University, respectively. And has published more than 50 peer reviewed papers.