First Chair of MMV’s ESAC receives knighthood

First Chair of MMV’s ESAC receives knighthood

MMV congratulates Dr Simon Campbell on receiving a knighthood for services to chemistry.

A synthetic organic chemist, Dr Campbell received his BSc (1962) and PhD (1965) degrees from Birmingham University in the UK. He carried out postdoctoral research in Birmingham and Chile then at Stanford University with W.S. Johnson, before being appointed Visiting Professor at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1970.

In 1972, Dr Campbell joined Pfizer Central Research, Sandwich, UK, as a medicinal chemist. Innovative research by Dr Campbell and his teams led to the discovery of Norvasc, Viagra and Cardura, which all became world leaders in their therapeutic classes. In addition, he co-authored over 120 scientific publications and patents before retiring in October 1998 as Pfizer’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Discovery and Medicinals R&D Europe.

Dr. Campbell has received an impressive array of awards for his scientific achievements, including the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry (1989), the Herschberg Award from the American Chemical Society (1997), the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (1997), the Industry Research Institute (US) Achievement Award (1997), the CIA Individual Achievement Award (2006), Galen Medal (2007) and the Sir James Black Award for Drug Discovery (2012).

He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999 – an honour rare for scientists in industry – and in 2010 was named at 31 in the Times Eureka list of top UK scientists and was included in the Science Council 100 Leading Scientists in 2014.

Dr Campbell was the first Chair of MMV’s Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (1999-2003), which he re-joined as a member in 2008 for two more 3-year terms. Simon continues to work with MMV and DNDi in addition to charities focussed on cancer.

“I am delighted and honoured to be awarded a knighthood which recognises my achievements in science and healthcare,” said Dr Campbell, “and it also reflects contributions made by my numerous collaborators nationally and internationally. I could not have chosen a more enjoyable or exciting career and it is most rewarding to hear from patients that the innovative medicines I have been involved have brought real benefits. Finally, I could not have achieved half as much without the constant support of my family and I am particularly pleased that Lady Jill receives appropriate recognition.”

“On behalf of the entire MMV team we would like to congratulate Simon on being granted this honour,” said Dr Tim Wells, MMV’s Chief Scientific Officer. “It is particularly significant that his outstanding efforts in the field of drug discovery have been recognised, especially the span from cardiovascular to neglected diseases. We are proud that Simon is closely associated with MMV. He has generously shared his scientific knowledge and wisdom with us, which has greatly benefited our efforts in malaria drug discovery.”

The Queen’s New Year Honours list recognizes the “achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom”. A total of 1,164 people were on the list for 2015, and only 3% were honoured for outstanding work in science and technology.


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