Meet the Team

Almac Discovery Team http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/742105/Quattro_Template_Files_/dividerGrey.gif

Aaron Cranston

Aaron Cranston

Head of Translational Research

Aaron joined Almac Discovery in 2016 and has responsibility for translational research activities including key external research collaborations.  Aaron has over 20 years of experience in preclinical oncology and left Mission Therapeutics, where he was Head of Pharmacology for the deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) specialist, to join Discovery.  Aaron has also previously worked for PRECOS, a specialist oncology CRO and KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (acquired by AstraZeneca).  At KuDOS, he made notable contributions to the PARP inhibitor programme which led to olaparib (Lynparza®), now a first-in-class marketed treatment for BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer.

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Aaron carried out his post-doctoral research at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Philadelphia and the University of Cambridge.

He has a Ph.D in Cancer Genetics from Queen’s University.

Colin O’Dowd

Colin O’Dowd

Head of Medicinal Chemistry

Colin manages the medicinal chemistry, ADMET and CADD groups within Almac Discovery bringing to bear his experience in chemistry contract research from his 9 year tenure in Almac Sciences.

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Colin has broad medicinal chemistry skills, he and his team have recently worked on Discovery’s kinase and deubiquitylating enzyme programmes and platform. He was heavily involved in implementing and delivering the initial phases of the highly successful industry-academia research collaboration between Almac Discovery and Queen’s University Belfast which continues with the Centre for Precision Therapeutics in 2016.

He has a Ph.D in synthetic organic chemistry from Queen’s University.

Graham Cotton

Graham Cotton

Senior R&D Group Leader

Graham joined Almac from the acquisition of Albachem and subsequently joined Almac Discovery to bring expertise in peptide and protein chemistry. Graham has responsibility for the technical management of Discovery’s Protein Drug Conjugate key research focus within Almac Discovery and was important in the discovery of the peptide clinical candidate, ALM201.

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Before moving to Albachem Graham worked at Amersham Biosciences prior to this he held post-doctoral positions at University of Edinburgh and Rockefeller University, New York. He has a Ph.D from University of Edinburgh.

Gerald Gavory

Gerald Gavory

Head of Biology

Gerald has responsibility for the company’s drug discovery and pre-clinical development activities and was instrumental in implementing the deubiquitylating enzyme research platform at Almac Discovery. Prior to joining Almac Discovery in 2010, Gerald worked at Merck & Co as a senior scientist where he notably contributed towards the identification and development of PARP inhibitors including Niraparib (MK-4827).

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Gerald was a post-doctoral fellow at Cambridge University and received his PhD in Biological Sciences in 2003 from the same university in the laboratory of Prof. S. Balasubramanian.

Lisa Goddard

Lisa Goddard

Head of Project Management

Lisa joined Almac Discovery in 2016 and has responsibility for the project management of preclinical and clinical programmes. She has 10 years of mainly oncology experience gained across both drug development and stratified medicine.

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Prior to Almac Discovery as Senior Project Manager at Qiagen, Lisa witnessed the FDA approvals and launch of therascreen® KRAS and EGFR colorectal and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer diagnostic kits and managed extensive programmes for gene expression-based diagnostic kits. This is valuable for Discovery’s Precision Therapeutics approach to drug development.

Prior to Qiagen Lisa worked for Almac Diagnostics Project Management and held post-doctoral positions at Astra Zeneca.

Lisa has a Ph.D in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester. 

Martin Wiles

Martin Wiles

Vice President Business Development & Licensing

Martin joined Almac Discovery in November 2014 and has responsibility for all commercial activities. He has over 20 years of experience from across medtech, healthcare services and pharmaceutical development sectors, the latter in both small molecule and biopharmaceuticals.

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Prior to Almac Discovery Martin was Senior Vice President of Business Development at BioInvent International AB where he was responsible for several transformative collaborations, including an oncology deal with Roche for which he won the Scrip Awards Licensing deal of the year. Before taking on the role at Bioinvent he held numerous senior commercial, strategic, technical and operational roles within the listed biotechs, K S BioMedixs PLC and BioCompatibles PLC.

He has a Ph.D and MBA.

Stephen Barr

Stephen Barr

President & Managing Director, Almac Discovery

Stephen is a member of the Almac Group Executive Management and President and Managing Director of both Almac Discovery and Almac Sciences. He was instrumental in establishing Almac Discovery and has had overall responsibility for strategic, financial and operational leadership ever since.

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In 2004 Stephen saw the opportunity to acquire Albachem for Almac Sciences Division which subsequently enabled key personnel to join Almac Discovery to strengthen our peptide and protein chemistry capabilities and support our first clinical candidate ALM201. Later Stephen set up the unique relationship with the Cancer Centre for Research and Cellular Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University which seeks to consolidate Discovery’s oncology focus.

Stephen has a Ph.D in synthetic chemistry.

Tim Harrison

Tim Harrison

Vice President Discovery Chemistry

Tim joined Almac Sciences in 2006 as Vice President of Research and Development before moving to Almac Discovery on its establishment in 2008: an initiative he had played a key role in planning and championing. He now has responsibility for all R&D activities and for coordinating the relationship with Queen’s University which, most recently, is via the Centre for Precision Therapeutics.

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Prior to Almac Tim spent 15 years at Merck, Sharp and Dohme where he had involvement with their γ-secretase programme and the now marketed Substance P antagonist Emend® for chemotherapy-induced nausea. For his work with Emend® he received the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award.

Tim is the McClay Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Queen’s University and has a Ph.D in Synthetic Organic Chemistry