Prof Sir Thomas Blundell to deliver 2019 Grimwade Visiting Fellow Oration

We are privileged to be joined by Professor Sir Thomas Blundell who will be presenting the 2019 Grimwade Visiting Fellow Oration, Science, Society and Spinouts: From Genomes and Structural Biology to Drug Discovery. The event will be held on Wednesday 25 September, hosted by the Department of Biochemistry, School of Biomedical Sciences.

Professor Blundell maintains an active laboratory as Director of Research and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, where he was previously Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Department between 1996 and 2009, and Chair of School of Biological Sciences between 2003 and 2009. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) amongst other prestigious posts.

Professor Blundell has made many important contributions over his distinguished career as a structural biologist in understanding polypeptide hormones, growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction, and DNA repair. He has produced many widely used software packages for protein modelling and design and for predicting effects of mutations and to understand cancer & drug resistance. He has published ~630 research papers, including ~40 in Nature and Science, and has an H-factor of 114.

Professor Blundell has also developed new approaches to structure-guided and fragment-based drug discovery. In 1999 he co-founded Astex Therapeutics, an oncology company that has eight drugs in clinical trials and that was sold in 2013 for $886 million. In parallel, at the University of Cambridge, he has developed structure-guided fragment-based approaches to drug discovery for difficult targets involving multiprotein systems and protein-protein interactions. He has also been targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins as part of the Gates HIT-TB and EU-FP7 MM4TB consortia, including structural and biochemical studies of resistance mutations to first-line drugs.

Professor Blundell was a member of PM Margaret Thatcher’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology (1988-1990), Founding CEO of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council 1991-1996 (Chair 2009-2015), Chairman, Royal Commission on Environment (1998-2005), Deputy Chair of Institute of Cancer Research (2008-2015) and President of UK Science Council (2011- 2016). In 1997, he was knighted for his contributions to science and society.

The Grimwade Visiting Fellow, established by the University of Melbourne, through the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund, aims to promote the discipline of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University by inviting stellar researchers to visit the University, present on their research impact and connect with the broader Australian research community.

All are welcome to this free, public lecture however bookings are essential (see link below).


Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Time: 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Venue: Bio21 Institute Auditorium, 30 Flemington Road, Parkville

Book now