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Sir Simon Campbell, Ph.D.

Simon Campbell is a synthetic organic chemist who received his BSc (1962) and PhD (1965) degrees from Birmingham University in the UK. He carried out postdoctoral research in Birmingham and Chile, then at Stanford University with W.S.Johnson, before being appointed Visiting Professor at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brasil in 1970.

In 1972, Sir Simon joined Pfizer Central Research, Sandwich, as a medicinal chemist, and he retired in October 1998 as Senior Vice President for World-wide Discovery and Medicinals R&D Europe. He has co-authored over 120 publications and patents, and was a key member of the research teams that discovered doxazosin (CarduraTM) and amlodipine (NorvascTM). Both of these novel medicines became the leading agents worldwide in their therapeutic class. In addition, he was senior author on the research proposal that led to sildenafil (ViagraTM), the first oral treatment for male erectile dysfunction.

Sir Simon’s scientific contributions have been recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Medicinal Chemistry (1989), the Herschberg Award from the American Chemical Society (1997), ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (1997), the Industry Research Institute (US) Achievement Award (1998), the CIA Individual Achievement Award (2006), Galen Medal (2007), the Sir James Black Award for Drug Discovery (2012) and the inaugural RSC-BMCS Lifetime Achievement Award (2015). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1999), Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2003) and was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa by the University of Kent at Canterbury (1999), the University of Birmingham (2004) and St Andrews University (2008). Sir Simon served as President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2004-06), and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours List (2006) “for services to science” followed by a knighthood in 2015 “for services to chemistry”. He was named number 31 in the Times Eureka list of 100 top UK scientists for 2010, and was also included in the Science Council 100 Leading Practising Scientists 2014. 

Sir Simon has served on various professional and research bodies including SERC Organic Chemistry Sub-Committee, Science Board, LINK Asymmetric Synthesis, ABPI R&D Committee, Chemistry RAE Panel (2001) and as Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and Birkbeck College. He also acted as the first Chair of the Expert Scientific Advisory Committee for MMV (Geneva, 1999-2003) which he re-joined in 2008 and 2017, and was a member of the BP Technology Advisory Council (2000-04), the Council of the University of Kent (1999-2007), Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (2007-09) and the Council of the Royal Society (2011-2013).

Currently, Sir Simon acts as an independent scientific consultant for Pharma, Biotech, charities, funding agencies and venture capital, nationally and internationally. He also co-chairs the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee. Sir Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society for Medicines Research

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