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Dr Swen Hoelder

Team Leader

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Dr Swen Hoelder applies his medicinal chemistry experience to discover and develop new cancer drugs. He has worked in both academia and industry, and has led teams to discover drug screening libraries and pre-clinical candidates. Team: Medicinal Chemistry 4

Biography

Dr Hoelder leads the Medicinal Chemistry 4 team within the CR-UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, a part of the Division of Cancer Therapeutics, at the Institute of Cancer Research.

Medicinal chemistry plays a crucial role towards the generation of a new drug. Drug candidates are identified through creative design, chemical synthesis and systematic testing of chemical compounds. These drug candidates are then progressed to clinical trials. Dr Hoelder and his team apply their medicinal chemistry skills to discover novel cancer drugs in collaboration with other research teams both internally in the ICR and externally.

Dr Hoelder studied chemistry at the University of Muenster (Germany). He completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the Technical University in Berlin, working on the synthesis of derivatives of the natural product coronafacic acid. During his PhD he was awarded a fellowship by the Fonds der chemischen Industrie.

Following his PhD, Dr Hoelder spent two years in the lab of Professor P.G. Schultz at the University of California, Berkeley establishing methods to identify novel enzymes through selection from large protein libraries. He was supported during his Post-Doctoral research by a Feodor Lynen fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Dr Hoelder then joined the department of Medicinal Chemistry at Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi Aventis), a major pharmaceutical company, where he predominately worked on diabetes therapies. In addition, he led teams that were responsible for the creation of a kinase screening library and explored the application of Bio-NMR for kinase drug discovery in collaboration with the group of Professor H. Schwalbe at Frankfurt University.

In 2005, he joined Altana (now Nycomed) to work on cancer therapies, where he led a team of chemists that discovered two pre-clinical candidates.

In October 2007, Dr Hoelder joined the faculty of The Institute of Cancer Research and is now applying his medicinal chemistry experience to discover novel drugs in the unique and collaborative environment of the ICR.

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