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Drug Discovery and Development


We had a very successful event, it was well attended with 40 plus academics and students from different departments around the University.

Some of the hot topics were:

How are SUSARs assessed for patients in critical conditions opting in to voluntary medicine treatments?

How important is a detailed understanding of molecular structure in generating hypotheses and answering your multidisciplinary pharmacology questions?

Using these models there must be a number of variables which can be changed. Doesn't this mean you can 'fix' the data to make your drug the best?


Model-informed drug discovery and development: combining mathematics, biology and medicine - Piet van der Graaf

Transforming research ideas into medicinal products for patients - Alan Boyd

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New Approaches to Drug Discovery and Development: How to Move from Bench to Bedside

We are delighted to welcome Professor Piet van der Graaf (Certara’s Senior Vice President Quantitative Systems Pharmacology and Professor of Systems Pharmacology at Leiden University, The Netherlands) and Professor Alan Boyd (CEO Boyd’s Consultants and Honorary Professor, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham) to campus for an interactive workshop on drug discovery and development.

Session 1: Model-informed drug discovery and development: combining mathematics, biology and medicine. Professor Piet van Der Graaf.

Session 2: Transforming research ideas into medicinal products for patients. Professor Alan Boyd.

We look forward to interactive discussions about multidisciplinary approaches to drug discovery and development, and to considering the challenges of translating research ideas into new treatments.

Please register here.

When and where

Date: Monday 13 May 2019

Time: 10.30am-1.30pm

Location: Space 11, Scarman, University of Warwick

All welcome. Lunch and refreshments provided.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact

Event Organisers


pietPiet van der Graaf is Certara’s Senior Vice President Quantitative Systems Pharmacology and Professor of Systems Pharmacology at Leiden University (The Netherlands). From 2013-2016 he was the Director of Research of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research. From 1999-2013 he held various leadership positions at Pfizer in Sandwich (United Kingdom) in Discovery Biology, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism and Clinical Pharmacology/Pharmacometrics. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacologyfrom 2012-2018 before becoming Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. He received his doctorate training in quantitative pharmacology with Nobel laureate Sir James Black at King's College London.

boydAlan Boyd is a Fellow and immediate Past- President of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK. He is graduate in Biochemistry and Medicine from the University of Birmingham, UK. Following post-graduate medical training, he joined the pharmaceutical industry and worked for Glaxo and AstraZeneca where he became the Global Head of Medical Research for the company. In 1999 he became the R&D Director for Ark Therapeutics Ltd in the UK, specialising in the development of gene therapy products. In April 2005, he founded Boyd Consultants, the focus of which is to aid and support early stage life-science based companies and universities develop their research ideas into potential medicines. He currently works with a wide range of organisations across Europe, North America and Japan. To date he has been closely involved in bringing around 15 prescription products to market across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including gene therapy-based medicines. In November 2009 he was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Medical School at the University of Birmingham Medical School, in recognition of his expertise in medicines development. In April 2018, his consultancy company was awarded a ‘Queens Award for Enterprise’ for the work they had done in recent years on a global basis supporting the development of gene therapy medicines.