Dr. Malcolm Weir and Dr. Chris Tate named as 2019 BBS Honorary Members
By Dr. Malcolm Weir and Dr. Chris Tate | Oct 10, 2019
Dr. Malcolm Weir, Executive Vice President, Chief R&D Officer, and Dr. Chris Tate, founding scientist of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd., and a member of Sosei Heptares’ Scientific Advisory Board have been selected as Honorary Members of The British Biophysical Society (BBS) for 2019. Cate MacPhee, Professor at the University of Edinburgh, was also named as a 2019 BBS Honorary Member alongside Dr. Malcolm Weir and Dr. Chris Tate.
In 2018, Dr. Rob Cooke, Senior Vice President, Head of Biomolecular Structure of Sosei Heptares, was named as a BBS Honorary Member.
About The British Biophysical Society (BBS)
Since 1960, the British Biophysical Society has stood “For the application of physical and chemical concepts to biological systems”. Today, the BBS, a registered UK charity, reaches approximately 500 members with an aim to promote biophysics in Britain.
About Dr. Malcom Weir
Malcolm has extensive career experience and expertise in drug discovery and development. He was the Head of Biomolecular Structure and then the Molecular Sciences division of GlaxoWellcome with responsibility for 300 people engaged in target validation and lead discovery. During this time, he pioneered the application of structural biology and modelling to drug discovery, resulting in the advancement of clinical candidates to a wide range of diseases.
Malcolm joined the structural bioinformatics and drug discovery company Inpharmatica Ltd as CEO in 2000, growing it from the spin-out stage to a 100-person company which was sold to Galapagos NV in 2006. He then joined MRC Technology in 2006 to establish Heptares Therapeutics Ltd in July 2007, as Co-Founder and CEO.
Malcolm has been Visiting Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College, London since 1997 and advises on translational sciences and structural biology at the same university. He served on the Council of the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council from 2004 to 2011, and continues to advise the UK Government periodically on biotechnology issues. He received the Malcolm Campbell Memorial Prize 2015, awarded by the UK Royal Society of Chemistry’s Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector, in recognition of his contribution to GPCR drug discovery. In 2016, he received an honorary DSc from the University of Hertfordshire for services to research, and is a Trustee of the Biochemical Society. In 2019, he was named as a Honorary Member of The British Biophysical Society (BBS). He has published over 70 papers and patents.
About Dr. Chris Tate
Chris obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol (1989) and then moved to the University of Cambridge (Dept of Biochemistry) to work on a unique 10-helix sugar transporter, RhaT. After obtaining a research fellowship at Girton College (Cambridge) he moved to the LMB to work in Richard Henderson's group on the serotonin transporter where he showed the role of N-glycosylation and the chaperone calnexin was important for protein folding. Chris then worked on the E. coli multidrug transporter EmrE and obtained both 2D and 3D crystals as well as a 3D crystal structure using cryo-EM. In 2005 he started working on the development of conformational thermostabilization of GPCRs, which resulted in the structure of the b1-adrenoceptor. Subsequent work has focused on understanding the molecular basis of GPCR pharmacology through structure determination of the b1-adrenoceptor and adenosine A2A receptor in multiple different conformations bound to ligands of different efficacy. In 2016 the Tate lab developed mini-G proteins as a tool for the structure determination of GPCRs in the fully active state. Structures have been determined either by X-ray crystallography of receptors coupled to either mini-Gs or mini-Go, or by electron cryo-microscopy of receptors coupled to the mini G protein bound to bg subunits. In 2019, he was named as a Honorary Member of The British Biophysical Society (BBS).
He was a founding scientist of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation.