ESAC member Sir Simon Campbell inducted into the RSC-BMCS Hall of Fame

MMV celebrates long-serving contributor’s most recent accolade

30 Jun 2020

Sir Simon Campbell, a stalwart supporter and contributor to MMV’s work since 1999, will be the 2019 inductee to the Royal Society of Chemistry Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (RSC-BMCS) Hall of Fame, and the recipient of the associated medal.

The RSC-BMCS Hall of Fame recognizes individual prominence and significant, sustained scientific impact in the field of medicinal chemistry, agri-science, bio-organic chemistry and chemical biology, including teaching excellence, as well as outstanding contributions to the BMCS, or beyond.

Sir Simon obtained his BSc and PhD from the University of Birmingham in the UK, after which, he was appointed to research positions in Chile, USA, and Brazil. In 1972, Sir Simon joined Pfizer Central Research, Sandwich, UK as a medicinal chemist. During his time at Pfizer, he led the innovative research teams that discovered NorvascTM, ViagraTM, and CarduraTM which all became world leaders in their therapeutic classes, and outstanding commercial successes. He retired as Pfizer’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Discovery and Medicinals R&D Europe in October 1998.

Sir Simon was the first Chair of MMV’s Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) and served until 2003, bringing crucial drug discovery expertise during MMV’s nascent years.

“In 1999, I noticed an advertisement in Nature for scientists with drug discovery experience to join ESAC to provide scientific oversight for this new initiative to combat malaria. I applied for the position and was interviewed in London by Robert Ridley, the Chief Scientific Officer at the time, who invited me to chair ESAC, which I accepted,” recalls Sir Simon during an interview with MMV.

Twenty years later, Sir Simon continues to be an integral part of the organization through his membership of ESAC and his mentorship of several research teams, including four projects that have received MMV’s prestigious Project of the Year Award. He received an MMV Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 for outstanding innovation in drug discovery.

“We are delighted to hear about Sir Simon’s induction into the RSC-BMCS Hall of Fame,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV CEO. “This is well-deserved recognition for his phenomenal contributions to the world of medicinal chemistry. MMV is proud and privileged to have worked alongside him over the last 20 years.”

In 1999, Sir Simon Campbell was elected Fellow of the Royal Society and later went on to receive a Knighthood in 2015 for his services to chemistry. In 2016, he received the prestigious RSC-BMCS Lifetime Achievement Award. His induction into the RSC-BMCS Hall of Fame is another public recognition of his illustrious career in the field of medicinal chemistry, and an additional feather in his cap.