Paul Brennan received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Paul Bartlett working on synthetic methodology for combinatorial chemistry and synthesizing inhibitors for new anti-bacterial targets. Following three years of post-doctoral research with Steve Ley in Cambridge University on the total synthesis of rapamycin, Paul returned to California to take a position at Amgen. His research was focussed on designing and synthesizing kinase inhibitors for oncology. After two years at Amgen, Paul accepted a position as Medicinal Chemistry Design Lead at the Pfizer research labs in Sandwich, UK. Over the next six years Paul designed and synthesized compounds for most major drug classes: GPCR’s, CNS-targets, ion-channels and metabolic enzymes. Following the closure of the Pfizer site in Sandwich, Paul joined the SGC as the Principal Investigator for medicinal chemistry to discover chemical probes for epigenetic proteins.
The medicinal chemistry group in Oxford is focussed on the design and synthesis of small molecules as chemical probes for epigenetics proteins. We rely heavily on fragment based drug discovery (FBDD) for hit identification and structure based drug design (SBDD) for lead optimization. We collaborate extensively with medicinal chemists and synthetic chemists. The chemical probes developed in the group will decipher the function of epigenetic proteins in disease and provide starting points for drug discovery. By using epigenetic chemical probes in target discovery, we will dramatically accelerate drug discovery in one of the most promising new areas of biomedical research.