2019 Robert Robinson Award Winner


Professor Bernard Golding

Professor Bernard Golding

Newcastle University

 

Awarded for broad and substantial contributions to synthetic and mechanistic organic chemistry directed to biochemistry, microbiology and medicine.

 


About the Winner


After gaining A-levels in chemistry, physics, pure maths and applied maths (the latter taken in hospital after a near fatal motorcycle accident), I studied chemistry at the University of Manchester, after being rejected by three other universities. I graduated with 1st class honours in 1962 and progressed to research at Manchester under the supervision of Rod Rickards. I obtained a PhD in 1965 for the structure determination of natural products including the polyene macrolide antibiotic pimaricin. The award of a Ciba Fellowship enabled postdoctoral research at the ETH Zürich where I joined the vitamin B12 synthesis team under Albert Eschenmoser. My key contribution was to discover a way to execute Eschenmoser's sulphur-bridging idea to link the 5-membered rings of the corrin system. In October 1967 I was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Warwick where I rose to reader level primarily for my research modelling coenzyme B12-dependent reactions. I moved to Newcastle University in 1983 as professor of organic chemistry, which gave me the opportunity to collaborate with medical scientists and fulfil my ambition to engage seriously in drug discovery. In 1989, I co-founded the anticancer drug discovery group that has become internationally recognised by virtue of its discoveries of inhibitors of numerous cancer-related targets, notably poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP-1). The PARP research led, in collaboration with Agouron Pharmaceuticals, to rucaparib (Rubraca), which recently acquired FDA and EMA approval for the treatment of BRCA-mutant ovarian cancer. I also introduced the first medicinal chemistry degree course in the UK in 1989 (BSc in chemistry with medicinal chemistry). Since 2006, I have been emeritus professor and senior research investigator at Newcastle and continue to research and teach. I have also co-founded two SMEs (NewChem 2002; BiBerChem 2017), which are both heavily involved in medically related projects.


Related Links

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Newcastle University


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