MMV’s Dr James Duffy appointed to RSC Lectureship

MMV welcomes James’ well-deserved accolade.

19 Jun 2020

Director, Drug Discovery at MMV, Dr James Duffy has been appointed to the Royal Society of Chemistry Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (RSC-BMCS) Lectureship for 2020-2021, alongside Dr Elisabetta Chiarparin of AstraZeneca.

The BMCS Lectureship was launched in 2014 to inspire next-generation medicinal chemists via a series of lectures and interactions with experts in the field. As part of the appointment, James and Elisabetta will deliver at least six drug discovery and medicinal chemistry lectures between them to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers before the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. Keeping in line with BMCS’ aim to foster research in the rapidly changing environment of drug discovery, James intends to initiate conversations on medicinal chemistry, with a special focus on extending the benefits of such research to vulnerable populations like mothers and babies.

James has been a member of the MMV team since 2015. With a D. Phil from the University of Sussex in bioorganic chemistry and over 20 years of experience in drug discovery, James provides strategic leadership to MMV-funded project teams on drug discovery-related activities including compound screening, hit generation, and the design and selection of compounds for biological evaluation towards delivery of new antimalarial candidate drugs.

Beyond his work as a researcher, James is actively engaged with the medicinal chemistry student community by frequently delivering workshops and presentations. In 2019, he spent 9 months on secondment at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, mentoring aspiring drug discovery scientists.

“I was delighted and honored when I found out that the RSC-BMCS had appointed me to deliver a series of lectures to inspire the next generation of drug discoverers. Whilst reflecting on recent progress, I am very much looking forward to using the opportunity to highlight the need for new and more-effective drugs to treat infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations in the world,” said James Duffy.

The research and development teams at MMV work closely with academic institutions to discover and develop antimalarials; initiatives like RSC’s BMCS Lectureship provide an excellent opportunity for scientists at the organization to enable next-generation researchers step into the exciting world of drug discovery.