Ian Churcher DPhil
Ian was one of the pioneers of the application of targeted protein degradation to drug discovery as Head of the Protein Degradation Discovery Performance Unit at GSK and through collaboration with Professor Craig Crews (Yale). Ian built a team which demonstrated the viability of the VHL-recruiting PROTAC strategy and advanced a portfolio of projects from early proof of degradation through to clinic-enabling studies.
During a successful career in pharma at Merck & GSK, Ian has contributed to and led a range of discovery projects across many therapy areas from target validation through to lead optimisation and clinical entry. When at GSK Ian also built and led the Fragment-based Drug Design chemistry team as well as other discovery technology areas including chemical biology and compound collection design and acquisition.
More recently, Ian was SVP Drug Discovery at AI biotech BenevolentAI with responsibility for leadership and advancement of a portfolio of drug discovery projects across several therapeutic areas working closely with machine learning experts to develop novel AI-led methods for target identification and chemical optimisation.
Ian holds an MA and D.Phil. in Chemistry from the University of Oxford where he was also Visiting Professor in the Department of Chemistry