Dr Sarah Skerratt is a medicinal chemist and drug discovery leader with a strong track record of delivery, from the exploratory phase to the clinic, across several therapeutic areas. Sarah is an organic chemistry by training, conducting her PhD with Professor J C Anderson at the University of Nottingham before undertaking postdoctoral studies with Professor P A Wender at Standford University as a visiting Fulbright Scholar.
Since joining the pharmaceutical industry as drug discovery scientist, Sarah has championed the use of technology and computational methods to accelerate the rate at which new medicines get to market, particularly in the Design, Make, Test, Analyse (DMTA) phase of drug discovery. Sarah has taken a leading role in delivering integrated, computationally enabled, molecular design and analysis workflows in the organisations she has worked within, enabling teams to realise step changes in efficiency, innovation and data-driven decision making. Sarah also champions the use of AI/ML methods to drive molecular design, ensuring molecules with the highest probability of success are selected for synthesis.
Sarah recognises the central importance of synthetic chemistry in drug discovery and has led initiatives to expand chemical space in design and championed the democratisation of high-throughput experimentation and automation technologies.
She is an active member of the UK Chemistry community, with a long-standing interest in teaching and enabling the next generation of scientists. She has delivered multiple drug discovery courses for students throughout the UK/EU and shared her experiences of life in pharma with a view to inspiring and educating early stage career scientists.
Sarah is currently the head of the MSD UK Chemistry and Preclinical Sciences team at the London Discovery Centre.