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Medicinal Chemistry 3 Team

Dr Gary Newton’s team designs and synthesises molecules that inhibit key pathways in the development and progression of cancer with the aim of developing new, safer and more effective treatments.

Members of the team form:

Team leader

Dr Gary Newton

Dr Gary Newton

Team Leader

Dr Gary Newton is a member of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit where he applies his medicinal chemistry experience to validate new targets and develop effective medicines for the treatment of cancer. He has worked in biotech and contract research organisations over the course of 20 years, leading teams to discover a number of pre-clinical candidates.

ORCID 0000-0003-3635-1964

Team members

Ismaela Abubakar
Ismaela Abubakar
Data Manager +442034376237

Ismaela joined the ICR in October 2020 as a Data Manager in the In Silico Medicinal Chemistry Team. He previously worked in the Global Clinical Trial Unit at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Medical Research Council at LSHTM-Gambia and also at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research-Ghana. At the ICR, Ismaela is a core member of CTU-Cheminformatics resolving Dotmatics problems and supporting Dotmatics activities.

Dr Lindsay Evans
Dr Lindsay Evans
Staff Scientist +44 20 8722 4591

I am a medicinal chemist with a background in both anticancer and antimicrobial drug discovery. I joined the newly established Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence (CBTCE) in November 2019 and have been working in collaboration with the University of Cambridge to initiate the Centre’s first research projects. The aim of the CBTCE is to transform the way we develop treatments for children with brain tumours. I am interested in developing new small molecule therapeutics and chemical probes to interrogate cancer biology.

Daniella Hares
Daniella Hares
PhD Student

Daniella is a PhD student in both the Medicinal Chemistry 4 and the In-Silico Medicinal Chemistry teams. Her PhD project will look at computational approaches to predict the water networks in the binding sites of proteins and is carried out in collaboration with AstraZeneca as part of the industrial CASE (iCASE) studentship scheme.

Dr Andrew Kalusa
Dr Andrew Kalusa
Senior Scientific Officer +44 20 3437 6520

Andrew joined the ICR initially as a post-doctoral scientist before moving to industry to work as a senior medicinal chemist. He re-joined ICR in March 2021 as a Medicinal Chemist in the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery. As part of his role, Andrew designs and synthesises compounds for various drug discovery projects. In addition, he has other responsibilities within the wider Medicinal Chemistry department including helping run the Medicinal Chemistry 3 lab.

James Knox
James Knox
PhD Student +44 20 8722 4532

James is a PhD student in Medicinal Chemistry 3. He obtained his MChem from the University of Oxford, completing his Part II in the Gouverneur Group. His PhD project is on the design and synthesis of lysine-targeting covalent inhibitors to overcome drug-resistance and to inhibit difficult-to-drug targets.

Nada Kurdi
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 3437 6828

Nada joined the ICR in January 2022 as a Postdoctoral Training Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry. She obtained her PHD (Dphil) from the University of Oxford, working on the synthesis of a complex natural product and its derivatives, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Burton. At the ICR her current research involves the design and synthesis of small molecules for immuno-oncology applications.

Dr Thomas Matthews
Dr Thomas Matthews
Senior Scientific Officer +44 20 8722 4730

I have worked at the ICR since 2001, first as a Post-doctoral Scientist before progressing to Senior Scientific Officer in 2009. During this time I have contributed to a number of successful drug discovery projects, including HSP90 and CHK1. As well as Medicinal Chemistry, I have an interest in Cheminformatics which has led me to help maintain and develop our Dotmatics databases, ELN and visualisation software.

Alex McClarron
Alex McClarron
PhD Student +44 20 3437 6634

Alex is a PhD student in Medicinal Chemistry 3. He graduated from the University of York (MChem). He spent his Masters year as a RiCH intern at F. Hoffmann - La Roche working on medicinal chemistry in the neurology field. Alex’s PhD looks at the synthesis and design of small molecules for immuno-oncology applications.

Dr Tatiana McHardy
Dr Tatiana McHardy
Senior Scientific Officer +44 20 8722 4003

I'm a Medicinal Chemist working for the Chemistry Department. My main role is to synthesise compounds for drug development in which I apply my organic and medicinal chemistry knowledge. I also determine the solubility (by NMR and HPLC) and LogDs of our project compounds, which are important parameters in drug discovery. Apart from my research work at the ICR I'm also the Technician Commitment and Social Media representative of the Scientific Officers Association. My other interests involve the Athena Swan Programme and Public Engagement activities.

Dr Paul Meister
Dr Paul Meister
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 34376578

Paul joined the ICR as a postdoctoral training fellow in the In Silico Medicinal Chemistry Team in 2021. He obtained his PhD in Canada at the University of Windsor in computational chemistry focusing on mechanistic studies of sulphur-containing enzymes. He is currently providing computational chemistry support to a number of drug discovery projects in the CTU, with a focus on targets for RNA helicases and immune response.

Dr Jack O'Hanlon
Dr Jack O'Hanlon
Higher Scientific Officer +44 20 3437 6509

I am a medicinal chemist working within the Children's Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence on the synthesis of new compounds for the treatment of paediatric ependymomas.

Dr Manasa Punaha Ravindra
Dr Manasa Punaha Ravindra
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 3437 6304

I am a Medicinal Chemist by training. I recently joined as a Postdoc (Aug 2022) in the Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence (CBTCE) Team which aims to develop targeted therapy for the treatment of brain cancer in children. My interests are drug design and synthesis for the development of targeted small molecule therapies for currently difficult to treat diseases.

Dr Andrea Scarpino
Dr Andrea Scarpino
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 34376595

Andrea joined the ICR in July 2021 as a Postdoctoral Training Fellow in the In Silico Medicinal Chemistry Team. He previously worked in the Medicinal Chemistry group at the Research Centre for Natural Sciences in Budapest, where he completed his PhD focusing on the development of covalent docking protocols for drug discovery. At the ICR, Andrea applies computational methods to support the design of protein degraders and inhibitors as new cancer treatments.

Dr Mehdi Zaghouani
Dr Mehdi Zaghouani
Postdoctoral Training Fellow +44 20 3437 6254

I am a post-doctoral fellow in the Medicinal Chemistry 2 Team. I obtained my PhD in 2016 from Pierre & Marie Curie University where I was supervised by Dr Bastien Nay. With a training in total synthesis of natural products, I specialise in organic synthesis of complex targets for pharmaceutical applications.

Dr Natalie Bevan
Higher Scientific Officer T +44 20 3437 6337
Dr Matthew Cheeseman
Senior Staff Scientist T +44 20 8722 4168
Gemma Davison
Postdoctoral Training Fellow T +44 20 3437 6066
Aiden Doyle
Scientific Officer T +44 20 3437 6885
Andreia Margarido
Higher Scientific Officer T +44 20 3437 6891
Dr Natalia Serrano Aparicio
Postdoctoral Training Fellow T +44 20 3437 7215