I am a Project Leader in Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity with the IMED Biotech Unit, Gothenburg.

I lead multi-disciplinary asthma research and development projects in pre-clinical and clinical phase. Two of these projects are international collaborations with pharmaceutical/biotech partners. From 2011 to 2013, I was Business Operations Director of IMED RIA and responsible for the smooth-running of the unit, comprising approximately 200 staff. In particular, this included orchestrating IMED governance through the RIA Research Board ensuring timely, high quality decision-making in support of project progression.

Previously, I was Senior Project Manager in the Respiratory and Inflammation Research Area (RIRA) AstraZeneca R&D, Charnwood, UK, from 2009 to 2011. During this time I was Chairperson/deputy of the Local Project Forum, bringing line managers, project leaders and senior scientists together to manage and support drug discovery projects. I was also member of the Research Area Portfolio Team (RAPT) responsible for implementing strategy and managing the size and shape of the RIRA discovery project portfolio.

In 2014, I was made Director of Lead Generation Biology, a post I held for five years following my previous position as Associate Director. I line managed the Lead Generation Biology section of approximately 30 staff, and was jointly responsible for the delivery of lead series.

From 1990 to 2001, I was a pre-clinical project leader within the Gastrointestinal, Cardiovascular Research Area at AstraZeneca, Mölndal, Sweden where I was responsible for establishing drug discovery projects in the novel area of osteoporosis and bone biology. A key area of focus was the osteoclast acid pump.

I started my career within the pharmaceutical industry in the UK at SmithKline & French where I was involved as a biochemist in the drug discovery project leading to the gastric acid inhibitor, pantoprazole.


  New approaches to the treatment of asthma


New approaches to the treatment of asthma


CLINICAL TRIALS NCT01560234 (SAD) AND NCT01818869 (MAD) Led the project team that transitioned AstraZeneca TLR agonists from the interpretation of Phase 1 results to Phase 2a planning.


Demonstrated three distinct forms of the vacuolar acid pump, showing that the acid pump in the osteoclast, responsible for the breakdown of bone, was different to those in other tissues. This allowed the possibility of selective inhibition in order to treat osteoporosis


Defined the mechanism of action of the gastric acid inhibitor, omeprazole. One of the first to publish the complex mechanism of the world’s top selling drug

  Featured publications

Mechanism of action of omeprazole

Studies on the mechanism of action of omeprazole. Keeling DJ, Fallowfield C, Milliner KJ, Tingley SK, Ife RJ, and Underwood AH. Biochemical Pharmacology, 1985. 34(16): p. 2967-73.

Defects in the vacuolar proton pump

Defects in TCIRG1 subunit of the vacuolar proton pump are responsible for a subset of human autosomal recessive osteopetrosis. Frattini A, Orchard PJ, Sobacchi C, Giliani S, Abinun M, Mattsson JP, Keeling DJ, Andersson AK, Wallbran dt P, Zecca L. Notarangelo LD, Vezzoni P, Villa A. Nature Genetics. 2000. 25(3):343-346

Components of successful lead generation

Components of successful lead generation. Davis AM, Keeling DJ, Steele J, Tomkinson NP, Tinker A. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 2005. 5 (4): 421-439.

I am delighted to work in an environment where we can follow the project science and get to test our ground-breaking hypothesis in the clinic.

David Keeling