Leadership Team

Our multidisciplinary team is led by Prof. Steve Wedge, Prof. Mike Waring, and Prof. Martin Noble

Prof. Steve Wedge

Steve joined the Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit in June 2012. He previously worked at AstraZeneca for 16 years, with a key role in projects that led to the nomination of 12 candidate drugs, six of which were progressed clinically. This included being a lead bioscientist on the programme that resulted in the discovery of vandetanib (Caprelsa®), the first targeted therapy to be approved for the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer. He has a track record in critical problem solving with experience across all drug discovery phases; from target selection and validation, through lead identification and optimisation, to supporting translational science and early clinical development. He is currently Vice Chair of Cancer Research UK’s Small Molecule Expert Review Panel (SMERP) and a member of their Drug Discovery Committee (DDC) and New Agents Committee (NAC). Steve takes overall responsibility for management of the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit and target entry into the portfolio. Read More

Prof. Mike Waring

Mike was appointed in 2015 from AstraZeneca where he had worked for 14 years across a range of drug discovery projects in cancer and diabetes, leading the chemistry in teams that discovered 14 clinical candidates including the launched mutant EGFR inhibitor Tagrisso™ (osimertinib). He is an expert in lead generation and physical property based optimisation and has published extensively in these fields. His work has been recognised by a number of international awards (2010 RSC Capps-Green-Zomaya Medal, 2010 EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Prize, 2014 Inaugural RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship, 2017 RSC Malcolm Campbell Medal, 2018 ACS Hero of Chemistry). Mike is Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine and is Head of Medicinal Chemistry in the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit. Read More

Prof. Martin Noble

Martin was recruited in 2011 from the Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University, where he was a Professor at the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics. He worked in Oxford from 1993 as postdoc (with Professor Dame Louise Johnson), Royal Society University Research Fellow, University Lecturer, and ultimately Head of Laboratory. Martin’s key achievements are in the field of determining, interpreting and exploiting the 3D structures of macromolecules to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying medically important processes and to enable drug discovery. Martin is a project champion in Collaborative Computational Project 4, where he served for four years as Chair of the Executive Committee. He is also chairman of the XChem beamtime allocation committee and a member of the EBI Molecular Sciences Cluster Scientific Advisory Board. Martin is Head of Structural Sciences in the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit. Read More