Prof Paul Brennan appointed as Chief Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute

07 March 2022

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Paul Brennan to the role of Chief Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute (ARUK ODDI).  

The ODDI is part of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance, an initiative that promotes the discovery and validation of new therapies for dementia. It is one of three dedicated Drug Discovery Institutes embedded in the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and UCL.

Prof Brennan joined the ODDI as the Head of Chemistry in 2015. As a highly accomplished medicinal chemist with particular expertise in early drug discovery, he has been instrumental in developing and leading the Institute’s diverse portfolio of drug discovery projects.

Paul received his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley working on combinatorial chemistry and antibiotics. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge on total synthesis, Paul returned to California to take a position at Amgen. His research was focussed on kinase inhibitors for oncology. After two years at Amgen, Paul moved to Pfizer in Sandwich, UK and, in 2011, joined the Structural Genomics Consortium as Professor of Medicinal Chemistry to discover chemical probes for epigenetic proteins.

Prof John Davis appointed as Director of Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance Business Development.

Outgoing CSO Prof John Davis has been appointed to a newly created role to further the coordination of efforts across the three Institutes within the Drug Discovery Alliance and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s other translational initiatives.

Prof John Davis, Director of Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance Business Development, said:

“It has been a privilege to have been a part of building the Oxford Drug Discovery Institute and to have contributed to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work to push the boundaries of translational biology for dementia. I am looking forward to continuing these efforts across the charity’s translational initiatives and helping to make their impact greater than the sum of the parts.”

Paul Brennan, CSO of the Oxford Drug Discovery Institute, said:

“I am thrilled and honoured to take over the role of CSO of the Oxford Drug Discovery Institute from Prof John Davis.  Our immediate priority is to deliver our portfolio of advanced pre-clinical medicines into the clinic for patients affected by dementia. Over the next term of the ODDI, we will continue to work with Alzheimer’s Research UK and the world’s best scientists in academia and industry to advance novel projects for the treatment of dementia from idea to clinical treatment.”

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“We are looking forward to working with Paul in his new role as CSO of the ARUK ODDI. Paul’s extensive experience, both at the Institute and in industry, make him the ideal person to lead the pioneering work of the ODDI.

“We must thank Prof John Davis for his incredible work to this point and we are delighted to welcome him into his new role as Director of Business Development for the Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance. John’s experience as one of our founding CSOs, and his deep knowledge of the translational research landscape, will be invaluable to our future work in this area.

“Both appointments will be critical in accelerating new treatments for dementia, something the nearly one million people living in the UK with the condition desperately need.

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