David joined AstraZeneca in 2013 and is currently Head of Oncology Chemistry as well as Chair of the Global Chemistry Leadership Team and AstraZeneca’s Chief Chemist, representing chemistry on the IMED Biotech Unit Leadership Team.

Heading up a team of over 100 research chemists across the UK and US, David has more than 19 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist, working across multiple therapy areas including neurodegeneration, immuno-inflammation, infectious diseases and oncology.  His many research interests include protein kinases, epigenetics, structure-based drug design, CNS-focused drug discovery and phenotypic screening.

An expert in epigenetics and lead author of the seminal Nature paper “A selective jumonji H3K27 demethylase inhibitor modulates the proinflammatory macrophage response”, David has a particular research interest in exploring this growing area of science for oncology in AstraZeneca. Passionate about people development, David’s role as Head of Department is focused on giving individuals the right balance of support and space to foster an environment that enables creativity and great science to flourish.

Now based in Cambridge, UK, David completed his PhD at the University of Leeds before going onto post-doctoral studies with Professor Robert Holton at Florida State University, working on the natural product Taxol.


I joined AstraZeneca because of its unparalleled position in the oncology space and reputation as an industry leading chemistry organisation. On a daily basis I combine working on cutting-edge science to deliver transformational medicines for patients with working with the best people in chemistry – it has to be one of the best jobs in the industry!

David Wilson Senior Director and Global Head of Oncology Chemistry

ESTABLISHING THE ASTRAZENECA ONCOLOGY CHEMISTRY ORGANISATION IN CAMBRIDGE

Successfully transitioned UK Oncology Chemistry from Cheshire to Cambridge

LEAD AUTHOR ON NATURE PUBLICATION [A SELECTIVE JUMONJI H3K27 DEMETHYLASE INHIBITOR MODULATES THE PROINFLAMMATORY MACROPHAGE RESPONSE]

Article published

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Co-investigator on successful Wellcome Trust strategic award - $5m grant to support drug discovery efforts in malaria

VICE PRESIDENT AND HEAD, MALARIA DISCOVERY PERFORMANCE UNIT, GSK

Led fully integrated drug discovery unit focused on discovering new medicines to treat malaria

SENIOR DIRECTOR AND HEAD, EPI-ENZYMES DEPARTMENT AT GSK

Led integrated drug discovery unit focused on the emerging area of epigenetics


  Featured publications

Standing on the shoulders of giants: a retrospective analysis of kinase drug discovery at AstraZeneca

Standing on the shoulders of giants: a retrospective analysis of kinase drug discovery at AstraZeneca. Jason Kettle and David Wilson. Drug Discovery Today, 2016, ahead of print. DOI:10.1016/j.drudis.2016.06.007

A selective jumonji H3K27 demethylase inhibitor modulates the proinflammatory macrophage response

A selective jumonji H3K27 demethylase inhibitor modulates the proinflammatory macrophage response. Kruidenier, L.; Chung, C.; Cheng, Z.; Liddle, J.; KaHing, C.; Joberty, G.; Bantscheff, M.; Bountra, C.; Bridges, A.; Diallo, H.; Eberhard, D.; Hutchinson, S.; Jones, E.; Katso, R.;  Leveridge, M.; Mander, P.K.; Mosley, J.;  Ramirez-Molina, C.;  Rowland, P.; Schofield, C.J. Sheppard, R.J.; Smith, J.E.; Swales, C.; Tanner, R.; Thomas, P.;  Tumber, A.; Drewes, G.; Oppermann, U.;  Patel, D.J.;  Lee, K  & Wilson, D. M.  Nature, 2012, 488, 404-408.

Inhibition of PAD 4 activity is sufficient to disrupt mouse and human NET formation

Inhibition of PAD 4 activity is sufficient to disrupt mouse and human NET formation. Lewis, H.D.; Liddle, J.;  Coote, J.E.; Atkinson, S.J.; Barker, M.D.; Bax, B.D.; Bicker, K.B.;  Bingham, R.P.;  Campbell, M.;  Chen, Y.H.;  Chung, C.;  Craggs, P.D.;  Davis,R.P.; Eberhard, D.; Joberty, G.; Lind,K.E,; Locke, K.; Maller, C.; Martinod, K.; Patten, C.;  Polyakova, O.;  Rise, C.E.;  Rüdiger, M.;  Sheppard, R.; Slade, D.J.; Thomas, P.; Thorpe. J.; Yao, G.; Drewes, G.; Denisa D Wagner, D.D.; Thompson, P.R.; Prinjha, R.K.; & Wilson, D.M. Nature Chem. Biology, 2015, 11(3), 189 – 191.

Interrogating the Druggability of the 2-​Oxoglutarate-​Dependent Dioxygenase Target Class by Chemical Proteomics

Interrogating the Druggability of the 2-​Oxoglutarate-​Dependent Dioxygenase Target Class by Chemical Proteomics. Joberty, G.; Boesche, M.; Brown, J.A.; Eberhard, D.; Garton, N.S.; Mathieson, T.; Muelbaier, M.; Ramsden, N.G.; Reader, V.; Rueger, A.; Sheppard, R.J.; Westaway, S.M.; Bantscheff, M.; Lee, K.; Wilson, D.M.; Prinjha, R.K.; Drewes, G. ACS Chemical Biology, 2016, 11(7), 2002-2010.

Cell Penetrant Inhibitors of the KDM4 and KDM5 Families of Histone Lysine Demethylases. 1. 3-Amino-4-pyridine Carboxylate Derivatives

Westaway, S.M.; Preston,A.G.S.; Barker,M.D.;  Brown,F.;  Brown,J.A.; Campbell,M.C.; Chung,C.; Diallo, H.; Douault, C.; Drewes,G.; Eagle,R.; Garton,N.; Gordon,L.; Haslam,C.; Hayhow,T.G.; Humphreys,P.G.; Joberty,G.; Katso,R.; Kruidenier,L.; Leveridge,M.; Liddle, J.; Mosley, J.; Muelbaier, M.; Randle,R.; Rioja,I.; Rueger, A.; Seal,G.A.; Sheppard, R.J.; Singh,O.; Taylor,J.; Thomas,P.; Thompson, D.; Wilson,D.M.; Lee,K. and Prinjha, R.P.  Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2016, 59(4), 1357-1369.

GSK189254, a novel H3 receptor antagonist that binds to histamine H3 receptors in Alzheimer's disease brain and improves cognitive performance in preclinical models

GSK189254, a novel H3 receptor antagonist that binds to histamine H3 receptors in Alzheimer's disease brain and improves cognitive performance in preclinical models. Medhurst, A. D.; Atkins, A. R.; Beresford, I. J.; Brackenborough, K.; Briggs, M. A.; Calver, A. R.; Cilia, J.; Cluderay, J. E.; Crook, B.; Davis, J. B.; Davis, R. K.; Davis, R. P.; Dawson, L. A.; Foley, A. G.; Gartlon, J.; Gonzalez, M. I.; Heslop, T.; Hirst, W. D.; Jennings, C.; Jones,

D. N. C.; Lacroix, L. P.; Martyn, A.; Ociepka, S.; Ray, A.; Regan, C. M.; Roberts, J. C.; Schogger, J.; Southam, E.; Stean, T. O.; Trail, B. K.; Upton, N.; Wadsworth, G.; Wald, J. A.; White, T.; Witherington, J.; Woolley, M. L.; Worby, A.; Wilson, D. M. J.Pharmacol.Exp.Ther. 2007, 321(3), 1032-1045.