Translational Research Office (TRO)


Meet the Dragons

Garry Pairaudeau, AstraZeneca

Garry Pairaudeau is currently Head of Hit Discovery at AstraZeneca; the group comprising HTS, Comp Chem, Virtual screening and DEL is responsible for generating high quality starting points for AstraZeneca. In addition, the group works extensively with academic centres of excellence through open innovation and strategic collaborations with groups such as MRC, CRUK, Life Arc and many others to help support academic drug discovery.

Garry also chairs the Global Chemistry Leadership team in AstraZeneca responsible for chemistry strategy and has been particularly active in building Automation and Machine learning capabilities.

He joined AstraZeneca in 1994 as a medicinal chemist and was part of the chemistry team that discovered Brilinta. Prior to taking up his current position in 2012 he was Director of Chemistry for the cardiovascular group at Alderley Park.

Garry Pairaudeau

Rick Cousins, GSK

Senior Scientific Director in drug discovery in GSK R&D at Stevenage and currently part of the Protein Degradation discovery team.  Rick is also nurturing new science for potential drug discovery in diseases of the inner ear and Rick is a visiting professor at UCL Ear Institute.

Rick joined GSK in 1989 and was part of successful medicines discovery in HIV (Epivir) and respiratory (Vilanterol).  More recently Rick was a senior director in a novel science incubator team from 2014-2017 and a Research Director and Alliance & Project Leader in Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) from 2006-2013 setting up and leading GSK alliances with biotech life science companies including Epix Pharmaceuticals, Galapagos Pharmaceuticals, Neurosearch, Chroma Therapeutics, Peptidream Inc., Prosensa Therapeutics and the Max Planck Institute. Rick continues to work at the interface between large pharma and the external science communities seeking medicines that matter.

Rick Cousins

Dr. Ena Prosser, Partner, Fountain Healthcare

Ena is a PhD biotechnologist with a broad range of interests in science, government affairs, venture and patient focused charities. Prior to helping establish Fountain, Ena led Enterprise Ireland's life science group where she assisted a number of Irish starts ups. Her industry career began at Elan, where she worked in product development, alliance management, M&A diligence and intellectual property. Ena invests in biotech, pharma, medtech and diagnostics and manages a number of external relationships for the fund.

Ena Prosser

Michel de Baar, MSD

Michel is Executive Director, BD&L - Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, Immunology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases at MSD (Merck & Co., Inc. from Kenilworth, NJ, USA). He is the early stage search and evaluation lead for European business development and licensing opportunities in his areas of expertise. A Biomedical Scientist by training, he has worked in all areas of the life sciences industry: diagnostics-, drugs- and vaccines development. After a career as industry scientist, he moved into business development building experience in both in- and out-licensing of drugs and technologies. In 2010 he co-founded Madam Therapeutics, an anti-infectives product development company in the Netherlands. Prior to joining MSD as Executive Director BD&L, he was one of the directors leading The Pirbright Institute, a renowned virology-focused research institute in the UK.

Michel de Baar

Prof Joanna Holbrook, Benevolent AI

Joanna Holbrook holds a PhD in molecular biology, she spent 10 years in drug discovery and development at GSK, in the UK (neurology) and US (oncology), she led multiple drug discovery programmes. She then built and led a large biomolecular informatics group at Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (A*STAR, Singapore) investigating epigenomic markers of complex disease progression in observational and interventional cohorts. Returning to UK she joined the faculty of medicine at University of Southampton (NIHR BRC) as Professor of Bioinformatics. She played a leading role in the Epigen global academic consortia (UK, NZ, Singapore) delivering major scientific projects within industry alliances. She joined BenevolentAI in 2017 as Head of Translational Medicine and holds a visiting professorship at University of Southampton. At BenevolentAI she is starting drug discovery from the clinic, developing drugs for patient groups with unmet medical need, using precise descriptions of patient endotypes to develop drugs for patient-groups with shared molecular aetiologies.

Joanna Holbrook