Mene Pangalos is Executive Vice-President of AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit.

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 140 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 Medical Research Council, the National Centre for Universities and Business Council, the Ministers and Industry Strategy Group and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus Strategy Board.

Mene is also overseeing the creation of AstraZeneca’s new £330 million research 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 – IMED Biotech Unit


Developed and implemented the “5R” framework


Overseeing the creation of AstraZeneca’s new £330 million research centre in Cambridge


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


Ensuring the continued development of our olaparib programme in 2012 and seeing it through to approval in 2014

  Featured publications


Robbins MJ, Calver AR, Fillipov AK, Couve A, Moss SJ and Pangalos MN. The GABAB2 subunit is essential for G protein coupling of the GABAB receptor heterodimer. J. Neuroscience (2001) 21: 8043-8052.

Couve A, Thomas P, Calver A, Hirst WD, Pangalos MN, Walsh FW, Smart T and Moss SJ. A role for cAMP dependent protein kinase phosphorylation in facilitating GABAB receptor effector coupling Nature Neuroscience (2002) 5: 1-10.

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. Phospho-dependent functional modulation of GABAB receptors by the metabolic sensor AMP-dependent protein kinase. Neuron. (2007) 53:233-247.

Terunuma M, Vargas KJ, Wilkins ME, Ramirez OA, Pangalos MN, Smart TG, Moss SJ and Couve A. Prolonged activation of NMDA receptors induces dephosphorylation and degradation of GABAB receptors. PNAS (2010) 107(31):13918-23.

Terunuma M, Revilla-Sanchez R, Quadros IM, Deng Q, Deeb TZ, Lumb M, Sicinski P, Haydon PG, Pangalos MN and Moss SJ. Postsynaptic GABAB Receptor Activity Regulates Excitatory Neuronal Architecture and Spatial Memory.  J Neurosci (2014) 34:804-816.

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. Early-onset behavioral and synaptic deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. PNAS (2006) 103: 5161-5166.

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. Enhanced clearance of Abeta in brain by sustaining the plasmin proteolysis cascade. PNAS (2008) 105: 8754-8759.

Riddell DR, Kirksey Y, Hu Y, Warwick HK, Li Zhutting, Zhou H, Jacobsen JS, Pangalos MN and Reinhart PH and. Impact of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism on brain ApoE levels. J Neurosci. (2008) 28(45):11445-11453.

Basi G, Pangalos MN and Schenk D. Amyloid based treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. In The Biology of Alzheimer’s Disease, edited by Holtzman D, Mandelkow E and Selkoe D (2012) 423-454.

R&D Productivity

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; What Is to Be Done? “Translational Neuroscience: Toward New Therapies” Strüngmann Forum Reports Series ed. J. Lupp. Cambridge, MIT Press (2015).

Cooke D, Brown D, Alexander R, March R, Morgan P, Satterthwaite G and Pangalos MN. Lessons learned from the fate of AstraZeneca's drug pipeline: a five-dimensional framework. Nature Drug Discovery (2014) 13, 419–431.

Frail D, Wegner C, Sanganee H, Brady M, Escott J, Pangalos MN, Holt A and Watkins C. Pioneering Government-Sponsored, Collaborative Drug Repositioning Initiatives: Progress and Learning. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (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