Scientific Advisory Board

Sosei Heptares is fortunate to work with leading experts from the pharmaceutical industry and academia, providing advice ranging from science and technology through drug design and development to commercialization strategies.

Richard is a molecular biologist and biophysicist who is distinguished for his contributions to protein crystallography. Richard was the first to solve the structure of a protein found in the membrane of a cell.

Using X-rays to analyse bacteriorhodopsin, a light-harvesting protein found in tiny microbes, Richard discovered that it was composed of helices. Then, in collaboration with neuroscientist Nigel Urwin, he uncovered the three-dimensional arrangement of the helices within the bacterial membrane by electron microscopy — pioneering the powerful technique’s use to study biological molecules. Their model was published in the journal Nature in 1975.

Richard has worked at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge since 1973, and was its Director from 1996–2006. He was a founding scientist of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation. His awards include the 1999 Gregori Aminoff Prize, the 1993 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.

Chris is a membrane protein biochemist working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) who pioneered the use of conformational thermostabilisation for the structure determination of GPCRs. This technology was the foundation of Heptares Therapeutics and Chris was one of the co-founders of the company in 2007. More recently, his lab developed mini-G proteins that have led to structures of GPCRs in the active coupled state by X-ray crystallography and single-particle cryo-EM. Chris was awarded his PhD (1989) by the University of Bristol, after which he worked in the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge, before moving to the LMB in 1992. In 2019, he was named as a Honorary Member of The British Biophysical Society (BBS).

Paul Leeson is a medicinal chemistry consultant with >35 years’ experience in major pharmaceutical companies: Smith Kline and French, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Wyeth (USA), AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline.  Since 2014 he has advised pharmaceutical companies, start-ups, and academia.  At AstraZeneca (1997-2011) Paul was head of medicinal chemistry at the Charnwood site and he led AstraZeneca’s Global Chemistry Forum, holding accountability for the company’s chemistry strategy.  Paul’s drug discovery contributions have been in the cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation therapy areas.  He has a special interest in compound quality and in 2014 he received the Nauta Award from the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry.  Paul has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and holds an honorary professorship at the University of Nottingham.

Roberto is a Visiting Professor at NHLI and chairs the Imperial College Confidence in Concept programme. Roberto is a cell biologist and before joining Imperial he was Vice President and head of Biology in the respiratory therapy area at GSK. He also spent 4 years as CEO of MRCT, the technology transfer arm of the MRC, where he was involved in the commercial translation of MRC research and helped the creation of spinout companies such as Heptares. He has served as an advisor to a number of venture capital companies and is currently a Venture Partner with Brandon Capital Partners, an Australian life sciences venture capital investor. He has served on the board of several biotechnology companies. Roberto obtained a PhD from Nottingham University in 1981 and went on to do two post-docs at the University of Lausanne and the University of Liverpool before joining Glaxo in 1986.

BS, University of Rochester, in Chemistry with High Distinction, 1973

PhD, Columbia University, in Organic Chemistry, 1978

Fellow, Department Of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1979

In 1979, after doctoral studies with Professor Gilbert Stork, Columbia University, and a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Barry Trost, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Peter joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of ICI Pharmaceuticals in Wilmington, DE. He worked there 31 years, continuing through its spin-off as Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and its merger with Astra Pharmaceuticals to form AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Following his retirement in 2010 he established PhaRmaB LLC as a platform for providing consulting and mentoring in drug discovery and development.

Peter has worked at developing treatments to many different diseases, through multiple mechanisms of action, and has had more than 10 compounds advance into development. Early in his career he initiated, and worked on, ICI’s leukotriene antagonist project. During this effort he co-invented and helped develop Accolate™, the first leukotriene antagonist to be approved in the US. After developing and out-licensing a back-up, ZD3523, he moved onto inhibitors of human neutrophil elastase. Two compounds from those efforts, ZD8321 and ZD0892, entered clinical development. Since then he has worked on, or led, chemistry teams targeting: neurokinin antagonists, β-estrogen agonists, γ-secretase inhibitors, H3 antagonists, 5-HT1B antagonists and dual NET/DAT reuptake inhibitors. In the area of neurokinin antagonists he led the chemistry teams working on dual NK1/NK2 antagonists for pulmonary disease [ZD6021 and ZD2249] and selective NK1 antagonists for CNS indications [ZD4974]. Towards the end of his time at AstraZeneca, he led the preclinical 5-HT1B-antagonist [AZD3783] and the H3-antagonist [AZD5213] programs.

Peter is an author on greater than 200 scientific papers, presentations, and patents. He is active as a consultant, editor, and board member. He currently holds appointments as: Digests Editor, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters; Member, ISC Advisory Panel, Harrington Discovery Institute; and Affiliated Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware. He was the Chair of the 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Med Chem, Chair of the 17th Tetrahedron Symposium [2016], served 6 years on the ACS MEDI executive committee, 8 years as Member and Chair of the Carothers Award Committee of the Delaware Section ACS and 9 years on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia. At AstraZeneca, in addition to managerial duties, he progressed up the Scientific Ladder to the position of Senior Principal Scientist.

After his retirement he was chosen as the “Distinguished Lecturer” for the 2010 AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award Symposium. In 2011 he was named to the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and in 2018 he was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Ed Bullmore MB PhD FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci trained in medicine at the University of Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London; then in psychiatry at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London. He moved to Cambridge as Professor of Psychiatry in 1999 and is currently Director of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, in the University. He is also an honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of R&D in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Foundation NHS Trust. From 2005 to 2019, he worked half-time for GlaxoSmithKline, as VP Experimental Medicine, running the Cambridge Clinical Unit embedded in Addenrbooke’s Hospital, then focusing on immuno-psychiatry, as described in his recent book “The Inflamed Mind”. He has published more than 500 scientific papers and his work on brain network science and brain imaging has been highly cited. He has been elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Academy of Medical Sciences (Treasurer since 2018).

Keith Peters is the former Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the Clinical School in Cambridge where he was a major driver in the formation of the Biomedical Campus. His research focused on the immunology of kidney and blood vessel disease. He has wideranging industrial experience having served on the Board of Medical Advisors of Merck Research Laboratories, chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of Amersham plc, and from 2005-2016 was Senior Consultant in R&D to GSK. Biotech experience includes Celltech, Cambridge Antibody Technology, and Cantab. Keith was elected FRS in 1995, and was a Founder Fellow and second President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was Knighted to 1993 for services to medicine, and made GBE in 2018 for services to the advancement of medical science.

Caetano Reis e Sousa obtained a BSc(Hons) in Biology in 1989 from Imperial College, London, and a DPhil in Immunology in 1992 from Oxford. He subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, USA, with Ron Germain. In 1998, he returned to the UK to set up a research group at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, later to become Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute. In 2015, the London Research Institute was subsumed into The Francis Crick Institute where Caetano Reis e Sousa is currently an Assistant Research Director and Senior Group Leader, leading the Immunobiology Laboratory. He is also Professor of Immunology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College and honorary professor at University College London and King’s College London.

Caetano’s research centres on the mechanisms involved in sensing infection, cancer and tissue injury. He has helped to define the cells and pathways involved in innate immune detection of RNA viruses, fungi and dead cells. His scientific contributions have been widely recognised and he is included in the list of Highly Cited Researchers (Thomson Reuters). He won the BD Biosciences Prize of the European Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Society (2002), the Liliane Bettencourt for Life Sciences Award (2008), the Award for Excellence in Basic/Translational Research from the European Society for Clinical Investigation (2011) and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2017). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2019), Fellow of The Academy of Medical Sciences (elected 2006), member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO; elected 2006) and was made an Officer of the Order of Sant’Iago da Espada by the government of Portugal, his home country, in 2009.  

Dr. Schoepp has over thirty years of experience in the discovery and development of innovative Neuroscience therapeutics in pharmaceutical industry. This includes 20 years at Eli Lilly as a scientist and leader of Neuroscience research department, and 12 years at Merck as the Neuroscience research therapeutic area leader.

At Merck as head of Neuroscience research, his group built a pipeline of innovative first class agents for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, pain/migraine, and schizophrenia.Merck Neuroscience successfully developed and launched the first in class orexin receptor antagonist Suvorexant (Belsomra) for insomnia and created the novel first in class oral CGRP antagonists ubrogepant and atogepant currently in registration trials for migraine treatment and prevention (by Allergan). 

As a scientist he has over 200 publications (>19,000 citations of this work) and is an inventor of 15 US patents.  He is recognized for having made major contributions in the investigation of the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate in disease pathophysiology, pharmacology and therapeutics. His bench and leadership roles have led to the discovery and introduction into patients of over 20 novel first-in-class agents for psychiatric and neurological diseases.  Dr. Schoepp's honors include the 2002 Pharmacia / ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics for his research on the experimental therapeutics of glutamate receptors in psychiatry.

Dr. Schoepp received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University and his doctoral degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from West Virginia University.

Anders Tullgren is the President and Owner of Tullgren Consulting Ltd (UK) and currently serves as a consultant/advisor for several private and public biotech and pharmaceutical companies and private equity groups. Anders is currently a Board member of Biotoscana Investments S.A. (Luxembourg),  and BrandingScience Ltd (UK). Anders is also the Chairman of the Board of Xbrane Biopharma AB (Sweden).

Anders brings over 30 years of global experience from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Working at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1996 until 2017, Anders held senior leadership roles in the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Nordic region. From 2014-2017, Anders was the president of the Intercontinental Region (Latin America, China, Middle East, Russia, Central/Eastern Europe and Asia) at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this capacity, Anders had full responsibility over P&L and operational experience in over 40 countries, 4,000 employees, and a revenue of over 2.5 billion USD.

Anders holds a Master in Pharmacy from Uppsala University (Sweden).

David is an experienced scientist and physician, with a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry, most notably as Senior Vice President and Head of R&D for Pfizer in Europe. He and his units have brought many medicines in several therapy areas through R&D to successful commercialization.

He is currently President of R&D at Summit Therapeutics plc, an international clinical-stage company listed on AIM in the UK and NASDAQ in the US.

David has previously served as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Scientific Translation at the Francis Crick Institute in London from 2014 to 2017. Prior to this, he was Head of Research and Chief Medical Officer for Europe R&D at Pfizer Inc. from 2008 to 2011 and was Head of Therapy Area for Anti-infectives at Bayer AG from 1997 to 1999.

David has a degree in biochemistry from University of London and qualified in Medicine from St George’s Hospital, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is an honorary Professor of Medicine at Swansea University and Professor of Translational Medicine at St George’s. He also sits on a variety of committees at Wellcome, on the UK Biomedical Catalyst Fund and the LEO Foundation prize committee.

David was elected to the Sosei Group Board of Directors in June 2018.