Paul Harper is a Principal Scientist within the Global High Throughput Screening (HTS) Centre at AstraZeneca.

Over the past two decades he has held positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, during which he has undertaken cellular and biochemical assay development, small molecule screening with an ever-increasing focus on new technology, automation and facility development. Since 1999 within AstraZeneca, Paul has successfully deployed over 15 large scale automation projects, across a variety of research functions with multiple external partners.

Paul received his honours degree in Biotechnology at Cardiff University in 1995, during which he spent his industrial placement year at Glaxo as an assay development scientist.

He entered the emerging field of High Throughput Screening with Pfizer in 1996, developing and prosecuting biochemical and cellular assays. During this time he initiated his specialism in designing and developing new technology to fulfil scientific gaps.

In 1999 he joined AstraZeneca’s newly formed Charnwood screening centre, leading the scientific approach to automate biological screening at an industrialised scale. Since then he has been pivotal in the evolution of AstraZeneca’s automated science for Hit Identification

In his current role Paul leads development of the next generation of automated screening technologies for the UK Centre for Lead Discovery. Paul’s vision for a new approach became reality through a partnership with HighRes Biosolutions in Boston to co-develop the world’s most advanced screening robotics, which will be deployed into a ground-breaking collaborative laboratory in AstraZeneca’s new Global R&D Headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.




Development of the UK Centre for Lead Discovery for AstraZeneca and our collaborating partners


Creation of the world’s most advanced screening automation


Collaboration is the best approach… Even with robots


Technological and sociological advances in HTS: evolution and revolution?

It’s amazing what you can achieve with the right science – when combined with technology at an industrialised scale we fuel the medicines discovery pipeline.

Paul Harper Principal Scientist, Discovery Sciences, R&D