Sussex Drug Discovery Centre appoints Professor Jeffrey Hill as new Director

Professor Jeffrey Hill has been appointed as the new Director of the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre ( SDDC ) within the School of Life Sciences.

Professor Hill will take up his post in August 2019. Under his leadership the SDDC will continue to grow as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for academic drug discovery and the drug discovery partner of choice for University of Sussex researchers.

Professor Hill is currently Head of Biology in the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC ) within the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. Since its inception, ETC has advanced three new molecular entities into clinical development: a seasonal flu vaccine based on viral-like particle technology, a Wnt signalling inhibitor which has reached Phase 1b clinical trials and a Mnk1/2 kinase inhibitor which is currently in a Phase 1a study in leukaemia patients.

University of Sussex Provost, Professor Saul Becker, said: “Professor Hill’s appointment marks an important milestone for the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre. Jeffrey is a highly respected scientist with an exceptionally impressive career.

“I have every confidence that the Centre, under his leadership, will attract significant funding from research councils, charities and industrial partners - allowing our incredibly talented academics to uncover new drug discovery assets.

“I would also like to use this opportunity to express my thanks to Dr Ruth Murrell-Lagnado for leading the Centre so capably whilst we looked to appoint a permanent Director.”

Professor Hill commented: “I am very excited about becoming the new Director of the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre and I am looking forward to continuing the great work that was started by the scientists there.

“Never before has academic drug discovery had such an important role to play in the development of new medicines and the School of Life Sciences is in an excellent position to use its in-house scientific expertise to play a role in this important activity.”

Professor Hill performed his doctoral research at Cardiff University, studying aspartic proteinases, where he developed an interest in drug discovery for tropical diseases. After a WHO funded post-doctoral project on Plasmodial proteinases, he worked in Thailand on the characterisation of proteinases from a number of viruses, including dengue. On returning to Europe he took up a post at SmithKlineBeecham Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals), working in both the Discovery Research and the Genetics Research divisions, where he was involved in many aspects of target validation, assay development and biomarker discovery.

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Posted on behalf of: School of Life Sciences
Last updated: Friday, 28 June 2019

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