A member of the company’s Senior Executive team, Mene has overall responsibility for the company’s pharmaceutical discovery research and early development activities.

Since joining AstraZeneca in 2010, Mene has been instrumental in rebuilding the company’s commitment to science and scientific excellence. He has led the transformation of R&D productivity, driven deeper collaborations with academic, biotech and peer organisations, pioneered programmes to promote Open Innovation and fostered a science driven culture that rewards great science and truth-seeking behaviours.

Mene retains an active interest in neurodegenerative disease and neuropharmacology and continues to mentor post docs and PhD students.

Mene has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and is an internationally renowned expert in neuroscience and drug discovery. He is a leading figure in UK science, serving on several Boards including the of The Francis Crick Institute, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and Dizal Pharma. Mene has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society where he is also a member of their Science, Industry and Translation Committee, and holds Fellowships with the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Biology and Clare Hall – University Cambridge. He sits on the council of the Medical Research Council (MRC), co-chairs the Life Sciences Council Expert Group on Innovation, Clinical Research and Data and is a member of the UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. Mene was recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours list with a knighthood from Her Majesty The Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for his services to UK science.

Mene oversaw the creation of AstraZeneca’s new R&D Centre in Cambridge – a state of the art facility designed to stimulate collaborative scientific innovation and which will play an important role in the future success of the UK life science industry.

Our commitment is clear – fostering a culture that rewards pioneering science and asks the ‘killer’ questions. It’s how we push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Menelas Pangalos Executive Vice-President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D


Executive Vice-President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D


Awarded a knighthood in the UK 2020 Honours List by Her Majesty The Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Developed and implemented the “5R” framework


Overseeing the creation of AstraZeneca’s new research centre in Cambridge


In Nature Reviews Drug Discovery describing the pioneering drug repositioning initiatives in IMED

  Featured publications


The GABAB2 subunit is essential for G protein coupling of the GABAB receptor heterodimer.

Robbins MJ, Calver AR, Fillipov AK, Couve A, Moss SJ and Pangalos MN. J. Neuroscience (2001) 21: 8043-8052.

A role for cAMP dependent protein kinase phosphorylation in facilitating GABAB receptor effector coupling Nature Neuroscience (2002)

Couve A, Thomas P, Calver A, Hirst WD, Pangalos MN, Walsh FW, Smart T and Moss SJ. 5: 1-10.

Phospho-dependent functional modulation of GABAB receptors by the metabolic sensor AMP-dependent protein kinase. Neuron.

Kuramoto N, Wilkins M, Fairfax B, Revilla-Sanchez R, Tamaki K, Couve A, Calver AR, Horvath Z, Freeman K, Carling D, Huang L, Cooper E, Gonlazes C, Cooper E, Smart TG, Pangalos MN, Moss SJ. (2007) 53:233-247.

Prolonged activation of NMDA receptors induces dephosphorylation and degradation of GABAB receptors.

Terunuma M, Vargas KJ, Wilkins ME, Ramirez OA, Pangalos MN, Smart TG, Moss SJ and Couve A. PNAS (2010) 107(31):13918-23.

Postsynaptic GABAB Receptor Activity Regulates Excitatory Neuronal Architecture and Spatial Memory.

Terunuma M, Revilla-Sanchez R, Quadros IM, Deng Q, Deeb TZ, Lumb M, Sicinski P, Haydon PG, Pangalos MN and Moss SJ. J Neurosci (2014) 34:804-816.

Alzheimer’s disease

Early-onset behavioral and synaptic deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jacobsen JS, Wu C-C, Redwine JM, Comery TA, Arias R, Bowlby M, Martone R, Morrison JH, Pangalos MN, Reinhart PH and  Bloom FE. PNAS (2006) 103: 5161-5166.

Enhanced clearance of Abeta in brain by sustaining the plasmin proteolysis cascade.

Jacobsen SJ, Comery TA, Marton RL, Elkodah H, Crandall DL, Oganesian A, Aschmies S, Kirksey Y, Gonzalez C, Xu J, Zaleska MM, Das I, Arias RL, Bard J, Riddell D, Gardell SJ, Abou-Gharbia M, Robichaud A, Magolda R, Vlasuk GP, Bjornsson T, Reinhart PH, Pangalos MN. PNAS (2008) 105: 8754-8759.

Impact of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism on brain ApoE levels.

Riddell DR, Kirksey Y, Hu Y, Warwick HK, Li Zhutting, Zhou H, Jacobsen JS, Pangalos MN and Reinhart PH and J Neurosci. (2008) 28(45):11445-11453.

Amyloid based treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. In The Biology of Alzheimer’s Disease, edited by Holtzman D, Mandelkow E and Selkoe D

Basi G, Pangalos MN and Schenk D.  (2012) 423-454.

R&D Productivity

What Is to Be Done? “Translational Neuroscience: Toward New Therapies” Strüngmann Forum Reports Series

Holtzman DM, Nikolich K, Pangalos MN, Broich K, Ip NY, Koo EH, Koroshetz WJ, Masliah E, Mucke L, Nicotera P, Schnaars M, Spillantini MG. Neurodegenerative Diseases;  ed. J. Lupp. Cambridge, MIT Press (2015).

Lessons learned from the fate of AstraZeneca's drug pipeline: a five-dimensional framework. Nature Drug Discovery

Cooke D, Brown D, Alexander R, March R, Morgan P, Satterthwaite G and Pangalos MN. (2014) 13, 419–431.

Pioneering Government-Sponsored, Collaborative Drug Repositioning Initiatives: Progress and Learning. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

Frail D, Wegner C, Sanganee H, Brady M, Escott J, Pangalos MN, Holt A and Watkins C. (2015) in press.


Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences


Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology


Scrip Award – MRC-AZ Open Innovation Translational Medicine Alliance