Who we are

The researchers in GSK’s DPAc group are seasoned scientists whose expertise includes hit validation and identification, lead optimization, as well as chemical biology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism and clinical development.

Meet the team

  • Terri Almos, PhD

    San Diego, CA

    Terri joined Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) in October 2015 as Director of External Partnerships. Prior to GSK, Terri’s experience has included small molecule and biotherapeutic drug discovery for CNS disorders as well as inflammation, oncology, antiviral and metabolic disease. She received her PhD in Immunology from Johns Hopkins University, followed by postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at Hopkins.

  • Michael Bishop, PhD

    San Diego, CA

    Mike joined Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) in 2014, after 21 years of drug discovery research at GSK. Prior to DPAc, Mike served as the director of a metabolic disease research department as well as the Chemistry Site Head for GSK’s Research Triangle Park, North Carolina labs. Mike received his PhD in organic chemistry at Rice University under the guidance of Marco Ciufolini.

  • Daniël Blom, PhD

    Boston, MA

    Daniël is currently a Director of Biochemistry of Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc). He joined GSK in 2013 in the Virtual Proof of Concept (VPoC) group, where he led the pre-clinical discovery efforts in multiple disease areas. Prior to GSK, Daniël led multiple small molecule as well as monoclonal antibody discovery programs at Merck Research Laboratories. Daniël received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, followed by postdoctoral training at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

  • Carolyn Buser-Doepner, PhD

    Vice President and Global Head of DPAc

    Philadelphia, PA

    Carolyn is Vice President and Global Head of Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) at GSK, leading a team of drug development scientists who identify and progress novel targets in partnership with biology and disease experts in academia. Prior to GSK, Carolyn spent 15 years leading drug discovery programs in the oncology group at Merck Research Labs. Carolyn obtained her PhD in Biophysical Chemistry at Yale University and performed postdoctoral research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she subsequently served as a Research Assistant Professor.

  • Jon Collins, PhD

    Research Triangle Park, NC

    Jon joined the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team in 2011 in order to establish and lead joint academic-GSK drug discovery collaborations across North America. Jon has more than 20 years’ drug discovery research experience at GSK in cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory disease areas. He received his PhD in organic chemistry from Indiana University at Bloomington and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

  • Colin Macphee, PhD

    Philadelphia, PA

    Colin joined the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) group in 2014. He has been with GSK for 25 years, working in many drug discovery leadership roles. Colin’s target identification work led to the identification of the lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2). He subsequently drove the Lp-PLA2 inhibitor program which identified several clinical candidates for multiple indications. Colin earned his PhD in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow and did his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington.

  • Daniel Paone, PhD

    Philadelphia, PA

    Dan joined the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team in 2014. Prior to GSK, Dan worked as a medicinal chemist at Merck for 13 years, where he contributed significantly to the design of multiple preclinical candidates in the neuroscience therapeutic area. Dan earned his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania with Professor Amos B. Smith III, and did his postdoctoral studies with Professor Larry Overman at the University of California.

  • David Parry, PhD

    San Francisco, CA

    Dave joined the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) group in 2013. Prior to GSK, Dave spent more than 15 years at DNAX (a subsidiary of Schering Plough), and subsequently Portola Pharmaceuticals, leading drug discovery and early clinical development in the oncology and inflammatory disease areas. David studied Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology at The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and completed his Ph.D. at The Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) London.

  • Debra Peattie, PhD

    Boston, MA

    Prior to joining GSK in 2013, Debra held positions in strategy and planning at Cubist Pharmaceuticals and in the Office of Technology Development at Harvard University. Debra has also served as an Assistant Professor of molecular parasitology at Harvard and led Vertex’s molecular biology division. Debra completed her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University. She also obtained her MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Andrew Pope, DPhil

    Philadelphia, PA

    Andy has been working in early drug discovery research for more than 25 years. He joined Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) in 2013 and, amongst other roles, leads the Discovery Fast Track Program in North America. Prior to DPAc, much of his career focused on the development and application of methods to identify and refine potential new medicines through the use of biological assay technology. Andy directed US Lead Discovery activities, including uHTS, Encoded Library Technologies (ELT), and provided hit-to-lead and lead optimization profiling to more than 20 therapy units. He earned his DPhil in biochemistry/biophysics at the University of York.

    Aarti Tarkar, PhD

    Philadelphia, PA

    Aarti joined the Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team in 2017 as an experimental biologist. Prior to DPAc, Aarti was a postdoctoral fellow in the metabolic disease research department where she worked on identifying mechanisms underlying myocardial infarction. She has over 10 years of research experience that relates to molecular biology, genetics and bioinformatics. Aarti earned her PhD in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut.

  • Katherine Widdowson, PhD

    San Diego, CA

    Katherine worked at GSK for 21 years in the respiratory, inflammation and infectious disease therapeutic areas before joining Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc). Most recently, she led the medicinal chemistry group in the Antibacterial Discovery Performance Unit (DPU), developing internal chemistry strategy and negotiating the chemistry milestone for external partnerships with the Wellcome Trust, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Mpex, Anacor and Biofocus. During her tenure, the group successfully advanced four novel mechanism anti-bacterials into clinical trials. Previously, Katherine worked in the respiratory area where she was responsible for leading the chemistry group in the COPD therapeutic area. She obtained a BA in Chemistry from Reed College and a PhD in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology.

  • Duncan Holmes


    Duncan is European Head of Discovery Partnerships with Academia and with over 25 years experience in small molecule drug discovery. He established DPAc in late 2010, successfully developing the first collaborations in the UK, before the initiative was expanded globally. Multiple projects are now up and running with academics at European institutions. He has previously led both chemistry and multidisciplinary departments at GSK undertaking drug discovery across a range of therapeutic areas, delivering many quality candidates that have progressed to Phase II clinical trials and beyond. Prior to GSK Duncan completed his PhD in bioorganic chemistry at Southampton University before undertaking postdoctoral research at the ETH, Zurich.

  • Mark Bamford


    Mark is a Discovery Partnerships Leader with expertise in Medicinal Chemistry. He has extensive project leadership experience, having progressed multiple projects to significant milestones, across a range of targets and therapy areas, from hit generation to candidate selection and beyond. Mark is one of the founding members of DPAc, and has initiated a number of DPAc projects; he was project leader of the first DPAc project to achieve candidate selection. Mark is a synthetic organic chemist by training, with a background as a practicing medicinal chemistry in GSK and legacy organisations.

  • Peter Eddershaw


    Peter is an expert in DMPK and PK/PD, providing strategic and scientific support for DPAc projects across Europe and North America. He leads activities to enhance the translation of pre-clinical studies to the clinic through a focus on target engagement, early dose prediction and quantitative pharmacology. Peter has more than 25 years’ experience as a drug discovery scientist across a variety of therapeutic areas, having contributed to the successful transition of many drug candidates from early lead optimisation through candidate selection and into pre-clinical and clinical development.

  • Jeremy Griggs


    Jeremy is a Discovery Partnerships Leader within the European DPAc group with expertise in Biology, currently leading two DPAc projects, in collaboration with The Rappaport Institute, Haifa and the University of Cambridge. Jeremy has a particular interest in biopharmaceuticals, including novel molecular architectures and their use across multiple therapeutic areas. He has approximately fifteen years of experience in drug discovery and has previously led multiple early-stage projects, particularly in Oncology. He read Biology at University College London and was awarded his PhD from Cambridge University, where he is currently Entrepreneur in Residence for Drug Discovery and where he occasionally lectures.

  • Semra Kitchen


    Semra is a Discovery Partnership leader within the European DPAc group. Semra has a background in cellular immunology and 10 years experience in drug discovery at GSK, primarily in antibody therapeutics. Semra has led multiple early stage drug discovery programs with a focus on autoimmune disease. Semra leads an early stage Discovery Fast Track project and is the Biology lead for an Immuno-Oncology program. Semra completed her BSc in Biological Sciences at Lancaster University, followed by a MRes in Biomolecular Science at the University of York. She received her PhD from the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in the membrane dynamics of differentiating B cells.

  • John Liddle


    John is a Discovery Partnership Leader with expertise in medicinal chemistry. He has more than twenty years of drug discovery experience, leading projects across a range of biological target classes and therapeutic areas.

    He holds an excellent track record within drug discovery and has been a key player on numerous programs that have delivered quality clinical candidates, including retosiban, a Phase III oxytocin antagonist. John also has extensive experience of hit identification strategies through to candidate selection activities. Prior to GSK John completed his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at The University of Manchester before undertaking postdoctoral research at Clemson University, US

  • Danuta Mossakowska


    Danuta is a Discovery Partnerships Leader within the DPAc team currently leading several early Discovery Fast Track program. She has over 27 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry where she has led both large multi-disciplinary teams as well as early discovery projects in both small molecules and therapeutic proteins. She has contributed to the work of several drugs that reached the market including an antibiotic, anti-diabetic and an immunotherapeutic. Danuta graduated from University College London with a degree in Biochemistry followed by a PhD from the University of Surrey. After completing post doctoral studies at Imperial College and the Institute of cancer research, she joined the Pharmaceutical industry.

  • Andy Pearce


    Andy is a Discovery Partnerships Leader within the European DPAc group, and project leader for a DPAc collaboration. Andy has over ten years of experience in target and drug discovery and has led multiple drug discovery projects from target nomination and hit identification through to selection of high quality clinical candidates. Andy has experience of projects in all major target classes, of localised and oral drug delivery and has led programs with both low molecular weight and biopharmaceutical modalities. He is a Biochemist by training, receiving his undergraduate degree and DPhil from the University of Oxford. His specific scientific interests are in cell signalling, cell biology and pulmonary and cardiovascular disease

  • Iain Uings


    Iain is a Discovery Partnership Leader in the DPAc team and serves as the Early Development Leader for one of the DPAc projects as it progresses into clinical development. Iain was part of the original DPAc team and alongside his role in DPAc he went on to spent 2 years embedded within COI Pharmaceuticals in San Diego where he helped to establish 8 new biotech companies as part of an innovative collaboration between GSK and Avalon Ventures. He has applied his passion for quantitative pharmacology to a range of drug discovery projects over more than 25 years at GSK, leading a range of projects through multiple phases, from screening to early clinical testing. For many years he co ordinated a large scale effort in novel glucocorticoids that spanned multiple therapeutic areas before going on to play a key role in setting up GSK’s early efforts in the pharmacological manipulation of epigenetic processes.

  • Ann Walker


    Ann Walker is a medicinal chemistry expert, currently leading the synthetic and medicinal chemistry on various DPAc projects, working with both internal and external groups to deliver the synthetic chemistry. Ann has been with GSK and its precursor companies for over 28 years working in that time on a variety of target classes including kinases, GPCRs, bromodomains and others in several different disease areas. She has also worked on a number of successful projects; notably ErbB2 which delivered Tykerb for breast cancer and p38 for which Losmapimod is in clinical trials.