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Mike Rowley, Ph.D.

Mike Rowley studied in Cambridge, receiving his MA and PhD working on organotin chemistry under the supervision of Ian Fleming,. He then spent two years as a postdoc with Yoshito Kishi at Harvard University where he completed the total synthesis of Ophiobolin C.

In 1988 he joined Merck Sharp and Dohme at Terlings Park in the UK as a medicinal chemist, where he was involved in various neuroscience projects in the areas of cerebral ischemia, depression, and anxiety. Latterly he was chemistry project leader for a pain project.

In 2000, Mike moved to become responsible for Medicinal Chemistry and DMPK at the Istituto di Ricerche di Biologia Molecolare (IRBM - MSD’s site in Rome), working in the areas of antivirals and cancer. It was during this time that the group in Rome, in close collaboration with the MRL site West Point, discovered raltegravir (Isentress™), the first in class inhibitor of HIV Integrase. This was followed by IRBM’s discoveries of grazoprevir, an HCV protease inhibitor approved in a combination therapy as Zepatier™ for hepatitis C virus infection and of niraparib (Zejula™), a PARP inhibitor used for ovarian cancer.

Following the closure of the IRBM, he joined AstraZeneca in Mölndal, Sweden in the summer of 2009 as Head of Medicinal Chemistry for the Cardiovascular and Gastrointestinal Research Area. Mike led the department’s work in lead generation and optimization, computational chemistry and scale up covering cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, diabetes and obesity projects.

He returned to MSD in early 2012 as Associate Scientific Vice President, based in Luzern in Switzerland. In this role he was responsible for conceiving and implementing scientific strategy for Merck Research Laboratories chemistry globally.

Mike returned to the UK in 2016, and joined Pharmaron in Hoddesdon as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery Services Europe in early 2017.

He has published over 100 papers and 40 patent applications. Mike is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and received the ACS Heroes of Chemistry award in 2013.

ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry

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