I am a Senior Project Leader in Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA), BioPharmaceuticals R&D.

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

Previously, I was Senior Project Manager in RIA, 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 RIA discovery project portfolio.

In 2004, I was made Director of Lead Generation Biology, a post I held for five years following my previous position as Associate Director. I 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 in the pharmaceutical industry in the UK at SmithKline & French where I worked as lead biochemist in the drug discovery project leading to the approval of a gastric acid inhibitor.

I am driven by scientific curiosity and an ambition to understand the biology underlying disease that will allow us bring new, innovative medicines to patients in need.

David Keeling Senior Project Leader, Research and Early Development, RIA, BioPharmaceuticals R&D


New approaches to the treatment of asthma with inhaled biologics


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


Defined the mechanism of action of the gastric acid inhibitor, omeprazole. One of the first to publish the complex mechanism of this drug.

  Featured publications

Mechanism of action of omeprazole

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

Defects in the vacuolar proton pump

Frattini A, Orchard PJ, Sobacchi C et al. Defects in TCIRG1 subunit of the vacuolar proton pump are responsible for a subset of human autosomal recessive osteopetrosis. Nature Genetics. 2000. 25(3):343-346

Components of successful lead generation

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