The Capps Green Zomaya Memorial Award recognises work in medicinal or computational medicinal chemistry. The Award was established by Celltech, GlaxoSmithKline, NicOx and Vernalis, and is now independently administered by the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the RSC in conjunction with the Capps Green Zomaya Trust.
- Run biennially.
- The winner receives £2000, a certificate and a medal.
- The winner is invited to give the ‘Capps Green Zomaya Memorial Lecture’ at the East of England Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in April/May (even-numbered years).
- Nominations for this biennial award in medicinal or computational chemistry are invited on behalf of anyone who is judged to have made an important contribution to the discovery or development of new medicines.
- The winner will be chosen by an independent panel of senior chemists, selected by the Committee of the RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) and the Capps Green Zomaya Trust.
Guidelines for Nominators
- Nominations open on 1 March (odd-numbered years).
- Nominations close on 31 October (odd-numbered years).
- Open to RSC members and non-members.
- Open to both UK and International scientists.
- Self-nominations are accepted.
- Candidates must be 40 years old or below on 31 October. The age specified is intended to guide nominators and selection panelists; appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken career breaks or followed different study paths.
- When nominating recent Award and Prize winners, please remember that a person cannot be rewarded twice for substantially the same body of work.
Capps Green Zomaya Memorial Award – Announcement of Winner
The Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Capps Green Zomaya Memorial Trust are pleased to announce the winner of the 11th Capps Green Zomaya Award. The award will be shared jointly by Professor Anna Hirsch and Dr Paul Winship.
Professor Anna Hirsch receives the award for her work at the Helmholtz institute for Pharmaceutical Research (Saarland, Germany) on novel approaches targeting multi-drug-resistant pathogens. In particular, the development of synthetic chemistry strategies to optimise activity against vancomycin- and penicillin-resistant pathogens, and the delivery of candidates for clinical evaluation.
Dr Paul Winship receives the award for his work at the Charles River Laboratories (Chesterford, UK) on the discovery and development of novel candidates for the treatment of muscular dystrophy. In particular, the optimisation of drug-like properties, and new synthetic routes for a series of myosin inhibitors. This work has contributed to the identification of Sevasemten which is now undergoing Phase II clinical evaluation.
Capps Green Zomaya Memorial Award – Previous Winners
The winner of the 10th Capps Green Zomaya Award was Dr Jérémy Besnard.
Dr Jérémy Besnard is the winner of the 10th Capps Green Zomaya Award for Medicinal or Computational Chemistry. The Award acknowledges Dr Besnard’s work at the University of Dundee, UK and Exscientia, UK in the development of AI technology and its application to the design of novel drugs. In particular, this technology has been used in the identification of 5HT1a agonists, currently undergoing clinical evaluation for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
The Award was presented to Dr Besnard at the 33rd Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Eastern England at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield on 28th April 2022.
The 9th Award was made jointly to Dr Julian Michel and Dr Sharan Bagal.
Dr Julien Michel receives the Award for his work at the University of Edinburgh on molecular simulation methods for the optimisation of protein-ligand interactions. In particular, for the application of this technology to the discovery of a novel class of potent cyclophilin inhibitors with potential application in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Michel was presented with the Award on 26th November 2020, and he presented the 11th Memorial Lecture at the 31st Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Easter England, ‘Molecular simulation strategies for ensemble-based drug design‘.
Dr Sharan Bagal receives the Award for her work on drug discovery at both Pfizer (UK) and at AstraZeneca (UK). In particular, for her contribution to the design and development of selective Tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) inhibitors, with potential therapeutic activity in the treatment of pain, neurogenic abnormalities and a specific subset of tumours. Dr Bagal was presented with the Award on 29th April 20021, and she presented the 12th Memorial Lecture at the 32nd Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Easter England, ‘Adventures with allosteric inhibitors: GTPase KRASG12C & kinase TrKA‘.
The 8th Award was made jointly to Dr James Crawford and Dr Richard Ward.
Dr Crawford received the Award for his work on drug discovery at both AstraZeneca UK and at Genentech USA, particularly for his contribution to the development of Cathepsin K inhibitors for the treatment of osteoarthritis, and of tyrosine kinase inhibitors currently in clinical trials for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and chronic spontaneous urticaria. Dr Crawford presented the 9th Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Discovery of GDC-0853: a highly potent, selective, and non-covalent Btk inhibitor‘ at the 29th Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry on 26 April 2018.
Dr Ward received the Award for his work at AstraZeneca UK on small molecule drug discovery, and in particular for his contribution to the discovery and development of Tagrisso (Osimertinib), a new treatment for EGFR T790M-positive non-small cell lung cancer. Dr Ward was presented with the Award on 26th April 2018 and he presented the 10th Memorial Lecture at the 30th Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Eastern England ‘Celebrating UK Drug Discovery‘ on 2 May 2019.
The 7th Award was made jointly to Dr Alison Woolford and Dr Alessio Ciulli.
Dr Woolford received the Award in recognition of her work at Astex Pharmaceuticals on the application of fragment-based drug discovery to identify novel inhibitors of apoptosis proteins for the treatment of advanced cancer. She presented the 7th Memorial Lecture entitled: ‘Fragment-based drug discovery applied to a protein-protein interaction target: from mM fragments to nM dual antagonist of XIAP and cIAP1‘.
Dr Ciulli received the Award in recognition of his work at the University of Dundee on targeting protein-protein interactions involved in cancer; in particular the discovery of first-in-class molecules which disrupt the binding of Ubiquitin-related complexes; also for the engineering of highly selective BET inhibitors. He presented the 8th Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Selective on-target chemical probes of protein-protein interactions‘ at the 28th Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Eastern England in April, 2017.
The 6th Award was presented to Dr Nicole Hamblin in recognition of her work at GlaxoSmithKline, UK, on the development of potent and selective inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase delta, for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
Dr Hamblin presented the 6th Memorial Lecture entitled ‘From bench to bedside: discovery and development of inhaled PI3 Kinase delta inhibitor GSK2269557 for the treatment of COPD’
Runner-up for the 6th Award. A runner-up award was made to Dr Lyn Jones for his work at Pfizer on the development of novel drugs to treat rare diseases such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy.
The 5th Award was presented to Dr James Scott in recognition of his work at AstraZeneca UK, on the discovery and development of novel compounds for the treatment of breast cancer, obesity, diabetes and glaucoma.
Dr Scott presented the 5th Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Discovery of novel agonists of GPR119 for type II diabetes‘.
The 4th Award was presented to Dr Michael Waring in recognition of his work at Astra Zeneca UK, in the application of medicinal chemistry to the selection of compounds for clinical evaluation in diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
Dr Waring presented the 4th Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Optimum Lipophilicity and Compound Quality – Strategies and Consequences for Lead Optimisation‘.
The 3rd Award was presented to Professor Andrew Hopkins in recognition of his work at Pfizer UK, on computer-aided drug discovery and its application to various drug classes, including novel inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase.
Professor Hopkins presented the 3rd Memorial Lecture entitled ‘The Efficiency of Choice‘.
The 2nd Award was presented to Dr Don Middleton in recognition of his contribution to a number of innovative projects at Pfizer UK, including the discovery of neurokinin antagonists and opioid agonists for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors for the treatment of psychotropic disorders.
Dr Middleton presented the 2nd Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Designing short half-life selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors‘.
The inaugural Award was presented to Dr Jon Bentley in recognition of his work at Cerebrus/Vernalis in developing novel compounds for the treatment of obesity.
Dr Bentley presented the 1st Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Selective 5-HT2c agonists‘.