Dr Katie Simmons

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
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/902-development-of-rgd-therapeutics-for-cardio-metabolic-disease">Development of RGD-therapeutics for cardio-metabolic disease</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/188-small-molecules-to-manipulate-insulin-and-igf-1-signaling.">Small molecules to manipulate insulin and IGF-1 signaling.</a></li>