Graham is a highly experienced and motivated drug discovery scientist and senior leader with over 20 years of experience gained from working as an inventive and creative medicinal chemist in a number of therapeutic areas including Pain, Internal Medicine, GI, Urology and Sexual Health. He has led discipline and matrix teams of up to 50 scientists and has successfully run drug discovery programmes from idea (hit-generation) to first-in-human (candidate selection and R1). Throughout his career he has made inventive contributions to the discovery of a range of clinical candidates leading to the publication of >25 patent applications and the initiation of >15 FIH studies. Graham has extensive experience of the evaluation of in-licencing opportunities and has initiated and managed a number of external collaborations with organisations such as Icagen and Hydra Biosciences.
Graham graduated from the University of Leeds in 1982 with an honours degree in Chemistry and worked for 3 years in the Hoechst Pharmaceutical Laboratories researching novel histamine H2-antagonists prior to beginning his PhD in Total Synthesis with Professor Steven V Ley, FRS at Imperial College, London. After 2 years post-doctoral research in Organo-Cuprate methodology with Professor Robert Boeckman Jr at the University of Rochester, Graham joined Pfizer R&D in Sandwich, Kent.
Since joining Pfizer in 1991, Graham has gained extensive experience of medicinal chemistry design and has applied this to the discovery of novel, small-molecule drug candidates against a range of biological targets leading to, for example, enzyme inhibitors, GPCR agonists, GPCR antagonists and ion-channel modulators (voltage and ligand-gated). He has also developed an interest in the design of peripherally restricted molecules as a means of minimising the potential for centrally-mediated adverse events.
Graham has considerable scientific leadership experience and has previously held the senior positions of Head of Pain Chemistry, Head of Genitourinary, Allergy and Respiratory Chemistry and Head of Exploratory Chemistry, New Opportunities Unit at Pfizer and was responsible for defining the Medicinal Chemistry strategy for large teams of talented scientists. He also worked within matrix Therapeutic Area Leadership teams and was co-chair of a number of Joint Steering Committees responsible for the successful management of external collaborations. Over recent years Graham has successfully employed CRO resources from Europe, India and China to enhance the productivity of research projects leading to the establishment of integrated drug discovery projects at an Indian CRO.