University of Dundee

Congratulations following Promotions for Academic Staff

17 Jan 2018

Kevin Read and Simon Arthur have been promoted to Personal Chair (Professor) as part of the 2017 Annual Review process for academic staff. Kevin Read will become Professor of Quantitative Pharmacology while Simon Arthur will be Professor of Immune Signalling.

“I would like to congratulate both Kevin and Simon on their well-deserved promotions,” said Professor Julian Blow, Dean of Research in the School of Life Sciences. “Both have made significant contributions to their respective fields over a sustained period of time as well as contributing to teaching our undergraduates.”

Kevin Read is head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics in the School whose position spans BCDD, DDU and our new Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research. Kevin has extensive experience of early phase drug discovery, lead optimisation project leadership and preclinical development gained from over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He brought this invaluable experience to the School in 2008 and has helped build the Drug Discovery Unit to the world leading reputation it has today. Kevin has played a key role in gaining substantial funding to support the drug discovery activities in the School, both from funding bodies and the pharmaceutical industry, along with the development of key drug candidates against diseases such as malaria and visceral leishmaniasis.

“I am very happy to have been given this promotion to personal chair. It recognises of the important role that drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics has played in the development of the DDU. the success to date that we have had in the DDU in neglected tropical disease drug discovery and the significant impact this will hopefully deliver to improving patient lives in some of the poorest countries in the world.  I am fortunate to have an excellent team of scientists working with me who really can make a difference and I thank them for what has been achieved to now.

Simon Arthur is deputy head of the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology (CSI) and his laboratory studies signalling networks that control inflammation. Simon came to Dundee in 1998 as a postdoc with Professor Sir Philip Cohen and pioneered the use of mouse genetics in the School to study cell biology and the immune system. His research interests at this time included both neurochemistry and immunology but once he became a Programme Leader in the MRC phosphorylation unit his research shifted to completely focus on immunology.

During his time in Dundee, Simon has made key discoveries in how the innate immune system works. This includes studying the kinase SIK that regulates the transcription factor CREB. CREB is critical to stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory molecules which switches off the autoimmune system. If this cannot take place, conditions such as arthritis and lupus can result. This knowledge has led to a partnership with Ono, Japan’s oldest pharmaceutical company, to develop new treatments for inflammatory diseases.