People

Richard FosterDr Richard Foster

Medicinal Chemistry Group Leader and Associate Professor

Richard  joined the University of Leeds following a career in the pharmaceutical industry during which time he worked as a senior medicinal chemist and project manager responsible for leading drug discovery programmes across all stages of the preclinical drug discovery process from hit identification through to lead optimisation.

At Leeds, Richard is Associate Professor & Group Leader of Medicinal Chemistry. His research group provides an integrated medicinal chemistry, high-throughput screening and molecular modelling capability for the identification and optimisation of small molecule therapeutics and chemical probes.


Post-doctoral research associates

Dr Charlotte Revill
Charlotte joined the group from the Dundee Drug Discovery unit following a MChem (Medicinal Chemistry) and a PhD in medicinal chemistry  from the University of Newcastle. Charlotte is working on a project to identify and develop small molecule modulators of the Piezo1 mechanosensitive ion channel as potential therapeutics. Previously within the group she has worked on a multi-year hit-to-lead development programme targeted at the optimisation of novel anti-thrombotics.

Dr Rachel Trowbridge
Rachel is working on a number of high-throughput assay transfer and screening projects directed at various biological targets of interest to the research group. Rachel has industrial experience in the biotech sector and was educated at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry.

 

Dr Yong Xu
Yong is working on a Wellcome Trust funded project to identify chemical tools as modulators of aggregation prone and intrinsically disordered proteins as novel strategies to target amyloidosis. Yong joined the group from King’s College London where he was recently awarded his PhD researching the development of novel chemical tools to interrogate glycosyl transferase function for anti-viral therapy. Yong is co-supervised by Sheena Radford (Leeds).

 

Dr James Ayres
James is working on a MRC funded project to identify and optimise small molecule modulators of an ion channel of interest to the research group.   James joined us from the Morrill group at Cardiff University where he was recently awarded a PhD  for  research aimed at the development of novel  routes towards the synthesis of cyanamides.

 

Dr Sonia Abas Prades
Sonia is working on a MRC funded project to identify and optimise small molecule inhibitors of a protease of interest to the research group.   Sonia joined us from the University of Barcelona where she was recently awarded a PhD  for the development of novel isocyanide mediated routes to compounds of biological interest.

 

 

Dr Sarah Kidd
Sarah is working on a MRC funded project to identify and optimise small molecule inhibitors of a helicase  as a novel anti-viral treatment.  Sarah joined us from the University of Cambridge where she was recently awarded a PhD  working with Prof David Spring on the diversity-orientated synthesis of small molecule libraries. Sarah is a graduate (MChem, Chemistry) from the University of Leeds.


PhD students

Ravi Singh
Ravi is a 4th year PhD student funded by a MRC studentship and co-supervised by Prof Helen Philippou and Prof Robert Ariens (FMH, Leeds). Ravi is researching the development of small molecule inhibitors of a target of interest to the research group as a novel strategy to treat thrombosis. Ravi completed his degree in 2015 from the University of Leeds (MChem, Medicinal Chemistry)

Kevin Cuthbertson
Kevin is a 4th year PhD student funded by a University studentship. Kevin is researching the development of novel inhibitors and activators of an ion channel target of interest to the research group. Kevin completed his degree in 2015 from the University of Newcastle (MChem, Medicinal Chemistry). Kevin is co-supervised by David Beech (FMH, Leeds) and Stuart Warriner (Chemistry, Leeds)

 

Katherine Norman
Katherine is a 3rd year PhD student funded by the MRC. Katherine is researching the development of inhibitors of an ion channel of interest to the research group as a novel strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Katherine received her degree in 2016 from the University of York (MChem, Chemistry). Katherine is co-supervised by David Beech and Marc Bailey (FMH, Leeds).

Sarah Ward
Sarah is a 3rd year PhD student funded by the EPSRC. Sarah is researching the development of an innovative class of protein-protein interaction inhibitors for the treatment of cancer using a combination of synthetic chemistry, fragment screening and structural biology. Sarah received her degree in 2016 from the University of Leeds (Natural Sciences). Sarah is co-supervised by Richard Bayliss (FBS, Leeds).

Holly Foster
Holly is a 2nd year PhD student funded by the BHF working on the development of various medicinal chemistry approaches to arrest thrombosis with  minimal bleeding risk. Holly received her degree in 2017 from the University of Leeds (MChem, Chemistry). Holly is co-supervised by Helen Philippou (FMH, Leeds) and Colin Fishwick (Chemistry, Leeds)

 

James Duncan
James is a 2nd year PhD student funded by the MRC working on a project to  identify  inhibitors of a transferase as a novel strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. James received his degree in 2016 from the University of Loughborough (BSc, Chemistry) and then followed this up in 2017 with a MRes in Drug Discovery and Development from Imperial College. James is co-supervised by Jessica Kwok (FBS, Leeds).

 

Belinda Mills
Belinda is a 1st year PhD student funded by the MRC working on the design, synthesis and biological characterisation of novel metalloprotease inhibitors for the potential treatment of malaria and cancer. She received her degree in 2018 from the University of Leeds (MChem, Medicinal Chemistry). Belinda is co-supervised by Elwyn Isaac (FBS, Leeds).

 

May-Li Mackinnon
May is a 1st year PhD student funded by the EPSRC working on the development of novel antagonists of a GPCR of interest to our research group as a possible strategy for the  treatment of glioblastoma. She received her degree in 2018 from the University of Nottingham (MChem, Medicinal Chemistry).  May is co-supervised by Colin Fishwick (Chemistry, Leeds).


MChem students

Jodie Foster
Jodi is a 4th year MChem (Medicinal Chemistry) student working on the synthesis and design of a novel PROTAC as a strategy for the treatment of renal cancer. Her project is led in collaboration with Dr Stephanie Wright (FBS, Leeds).

 

 

Mark Gainford
Mark is a 4th year MChem (Medicinal Chemistry) student working on a hit-to-lead project to identify inhibitors of an enzyme target of interest to the research group as a potential therapy for the treatment of unmet cardiovascular disease.

 

 

Peter Wainwright
Peter is a 4th year MChem (Medicinal Chemistry) student working on a project to design and synthesise inhibitors of blood coagulation factor FXIa as potential treatment for thrombosis.


MChemBiol students

Alexa Holland
Alexa is a MChemBiol MSc student working on the chemical synthesis and ligand-protein crystallisation of a serine protease inhibitor of interest to the research group.

 

Waqaar Hussein

Waqaar is a MChemBiol MSc student working on the development of an in-vitro plasma protein binding and permeability assays for prediction of extent of distribution in-vivo. Waqaar will also be researching the identification of the binding site of a small molecule lead  at an ion channel target of interest to the research group.

 


Previous group members

PDRA

Jeff Plante: now at LHASA (UK)
Ian Yule: now at Evotec
Jayakanth Kankanala: now a PDRA at the University of Michigan

 

PhD

Rachael Tennant: now at LHASA (UK)

Syikin Hamzah: now studying in Malasyia

Chris Fitzpatrick: now a PDRA at University of Leeds