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Industry Leader Joins The Institute


Wednesday 24 October 2007


Professor Peter Rigby, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Julian Blagg as Head of Medicinal Chemistry in the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics.


Dr Blagg has nearly 20 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. He most recently worked for leading global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, as Executive Director of Exploratory Medicinal Sciences, where he led a team of 150 scientists. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr Blagg trained in synthetic organic chemistry gaining an MA and DPhil from Oxford. He then held a two year postdoctoral research post at the University of Geneva, funded by a Royal Society European Exchange Fellowship.


His medicinal chemistry experience spans a range of therapeutic areas including cardiovascular disease, urology, inflammation and sexual health. He is co-inventor of multiple clinical candidates and has led many drug discovery teams to the identification of clinical agents.


In his new position Dr Blagg will be a Professor at The Institute of Cancer Research. He will be responsible for leading a 50 strong team of chemists in designing, synthesising and developing potential new therapies for the treatment of cancer in collaboration with world-class colleagues in biology, structural biology and pharmacokinetics at The Institute.


Professor Paul Workman, Director of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, said: "After an extensive international search we are delighted to have appointed Julian to lead our medicinal chemistry group - which is critical for our ability to convert our knowledge of cancer genes into new drugs for patients as fast as possible. Julian is a world-class medicinal chemist. His success is exemplified by his role in the discovery of a number of innovative clinical development candidates, his authorship of patents, academic papers and lectures at prestigious medicinal chemistry meetings. He held a senior and influential position within Pfizer and is well-known and respected by his peers. Julian will further enhance the pharmaceutical company experience within our unique academic-industry hybrid model for drug discovery."


Dr Julian Blagg said: "From a professional and personal point of view I am honoured to be accepting this exciting position. This is a great opportunity for me to contribute to drug discovery in a challenging and important therapeutic area and in an environment that is new to me. I want to help build upon the notable successes at The Institute of Cancer Research and continue to translate the world-class research going on here into therapies of benefit to cancer patients."

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For further information or to arrange interviews please contact:
Nadia Ramsey
The Institute of Cancer Research
Tel: 020 7153 5359 / 07721 747 900
Email: [email protected]

Notes to editors:


About The Institute of Cancer Research

  • The Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics is a unique drug discovery and development group. The department works to identify targets for therapy and utilise new technologies in order to discover drugs and develop them as quickly as possible for use in early clinical trials.
  • The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe’s leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. It was founded in 1909 to carry out research into the causes of cancer and to develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Website at:
  • The Institute works in a unique partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, forming the largest Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Europe. This relationship enables close daily contact between research scientists and those on the frontline in the fight against cancer - the clinicians, the carers and most importantly, the patients.

About Cancer Research UK
Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

  • Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients.
  • Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
  • Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.
    For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit
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