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Chas Bountra OBE - Independent

University of Oxford & Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Professor Bountra is Chief Scientist at the Structural Genetics Consortium, Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, London.

Chas has a wealth of both academic and industry experience. As Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline, he was involved in the identification of more than clinical candidates for many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases. More than 20 of these molecules progressed into patient studies, and several had successful “Proof of Concept” data and hence progressed into late stage development. He was involved in the launch and development of the first treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Alosetron) and was the first to show that neurokinin NK1 antagonists are anti-emetic in preclinical and clinical studies.

Prof Bountra’s current research is aimed at determining the 3D X ray structures of novel proteins, generating novel small molecule inhibitors, using these to dissect disease networks and hence identifying new targets for drug discovery. He is an advocate for pre-competitive science, for example the Structural Genetics Consortium publishes all findings immediately, works closely with over 100 academic labs across the world and 8 pharmaceutical companies, and shares all reagents and expertise freely. Prof Bountra works closely with colleagues in Oxford to build major programmes in rare diseases and in Alzheimer’s Disease, to create a “BioEscalator” for the rapid translation of SGC science.

Prof Bountra has given hundreds of invited lectures and in 2012 was voted one of the “top innovators in the industry”. He is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes.