Photo of Dr Gemma Nixon

Dr Gemma Nixon MChem, PhD

Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry Chemistry


    Personal Statement

    Dr Gemma Nixon's research career began with the completion of a PhD for Dr Ian O’Neil (Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool) in 2006. She then completed a one year Post Doctoral position with Prof Paul O’Neill (Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool) working on endoperoxide antimalarials (funded by AntiMal) before joining the company Peakdale Molecular in Januray 2008. In March 2009 she began a Post Doctoral position at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) with Prof Steve Ward working on a Seeding Drug Discovery Malaria Project (funded by Wellcome Trust) before moving to a Scientific Team Leader role with Prof Giancarlo Biagini on an MRC DFPS funded TB Drug Development Program. In 2013 Gemma took up the role of Chemistry Team Leader on the AWOL II: Macrofilaricidial Drug Discovery Project at LSTM (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)) whilst pursuing her own independent research interests. In April 2015 Gemma was appointed to a joint lectureship between the Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Translational Medicine and in May 2016 was awarded an MRC New Investigator Research Grant to investigate the 'Rational Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Benzimidazoles; Towards a Novel Therapy Selectively Targeting C. neoformans β-tubulin'
    Research interests include several areas of medicinal chemistry drug discovery and target identification. With a strong emphasis on development of novel therapies used in the treatment of tuberculosis, malaria, Cryptococcus neoformans and filariasis. Teaching interests include organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry from core principles through to their application in current drug discovery programmes

    Personal Distinctions

    • ‘Heterocyclic Quinolones – privileged pharmacophore targeting both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Malaria’ (Invitation to Speak, Global Health Compound Design Webinar 2017)
    • ‘Heterocyclic Quinolones – privileged pharmacophore targeting both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Malaria’ (Invitation to Speak, The Romark Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, University of Liverpool 2017)
    • ‘The Discovery and Development of E209 - a Tetraoxane Based Rapidly Acting Antimalarial’ (Invitation to Speak, SelectBio – Advances in Drug Discovery 2017, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge 2017)
    • Anti-infective Drug Discovery; From Anti-malarial Endoperoxides to Anti-fungal Benzimidazoles (Invitation to Speak, University of Sussex 2016)
    • ‘Drug Development Careers - From First Concepts to Marketed Drugs’ (Invitation to Speak, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC 2016)
    • Associate Member (Higher Education Academy 2013)
    • An Introduction to Malaria (Invitation to Speak, Liverpool John Moores 2011)
    • An Introduction to Tuberculosis (Invitation to Speak, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC 2013)
    • Current Concepts in Drug Discovery and Development – The Role of Chemistry - Online Lecture (Invitation to Speak, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thailand 2014)
    • From the Natural Herb Qinghaosu (Artemisinin) to Orally Active Synthetic Endoperoxide Antimalarials (Invitation to Speak, 41st European Symposium on Bio-Organic Chemistry 2007)
    • Generation of quinolone antimalarials targeting the Plasmodium falciparum mitochondrial respiratory chain for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria. (Invitation to Speak, RSTMH: Discovery and Delivery of New Paradigms for Global Health 2012)

    Administrative Roles

    • Chemistry Research Committee Member
    • Chemistry SSLC
    • Pharmacology SSLC

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