Dr Katie Simmons
I took a place at Newcastle University to study for a Master’s degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry in 2001. As part of my MChem there, I was lucky to work in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, synthesising small molecules as potential anti-cancer agents. This piqued my interest in drug discovery and I applied for a PhD in Leeds in the same field.
In 2005, I started my PhD in Chemistry, looking to design and synthesise new small molecule antibacterial agents. I was co-author of four papers based on this work, including first author on an invited review published in Nature Reviews Molecular Biology. I completed my PhD in 2008, and started to work on a ground-breaking EU-funded collaboration with researchers from all over Europe. The aim of this project was to identify small molecule inhibitors of a number of different membrane proteins, ion channels and transporters. I was co-author on five papers based on this work, including a first author paper in The EMBO journal. I returned to work after a period of maternity leave in 2013 on a project to identify small molecule antimalarial agents- these are now in pre-clinical development, in partnership with the Medicines for Malaria Venture. In 2014 I moved from the School of Chemistry to the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine. I am currently employed on a British Heart Foundation programme grant, working for Prof Mark Kearney looking to identify small molecules to selectively inhibit the formation of insulin receptor IGF1 receptor hybrids and we have a number of exciting hit molecules we are currently evaluating further.
- MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry
- PhD Chemistry
Research groups and institutes
- Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
- Multidisciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre