2009 Distinguished Service Award for Fine Chemicals Group's Stephen Smith

Steve Smith has served on the Fine Chemicals Group committee since 1996. During this time he has been instrumental in organising many medicinal chemistry meetings, including the flagship biennial Joint Medicinal Chemistry Symposium. Steve has brought his exceptional knowledge to the organising of One Day Symposia on specific disease topics that have been both scientifically interesting and financially beneficial for the Society.

Steve has also spent seven years as an officer of the committee, two each as honorary treasurer, honorary secretary and chairman and a single year as vice chairman. During his tenure as chairman, Steve guided the committee in organising a large programme of highly successful meetings, reaching new audiences. His encouraging style and attention to detail were much appreciated by the committee. Since standing down as chairman in July 2007, Steve has remained on the committee and has been active with newer members in organising meetings and has always been willing to share the benefit of his experience. Steve has been a sterling servant to the Society and deserves to be recognised as such.

Steve Smith graduated in chemistry at Southampton University and then undertook his PhD studies at the same institution under the supervision of Professor Richard Cookson. He started his career in the pharmaceutical industry by joining the Beecham Research Laboratories in 1978 and continued through the mergers that formed first SmithKline Beecham and then GlaxoSmithKline.

Over almost thirty years he developed experience of all aspects of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery from the set-up of screens to collaboration with development functions post candidate selection. He has wide therapeutic experience and has led / co-ordinated cross functional teams to key milestones including clinical candidates.

In 2007 he left GlaxoSmithKline to set up Stort MedChem Consulting, a drug discovery consultancy that predominantly focuses on working with smaller companies, charities and academia.

He says his years on the Fine Chemicals Group committee have meant he can put something back into the discipline that has given him so much enjoyment over the years. Active involvement in organising a large number of meetings followed, particularly those with a medicinal chemistry and drug discovery bias, such as the biennial SCI/RSC Medicinal Chemistry meeting. He is also keen to promote meetings that combine excellent science with ready business application to the widest possible audience. Examples include Bottlenecks in Drug Discovery (2000) and What a Chemist needs to know about Technology Transfer (2009).

Interview with Stephen Smith

Fine Chemicals Group 

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