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Prof Sir Tom Blundell, FRS, FMedSci


Tom leads an active research team focusing on molecular and structural biology of growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction and DNA repair, important in cancer, tuberculosis and familial diseases. He has published 549 research papers, including 30 in Nature.


Co-founder Astex Therapeutics in 1999, an oncology company that has eight drugs in clinical trials and that was sold for $886 million in 2013 as Astex Pharma to Otsuka. He was on the Board of Celltech (1996 to 2006), a consultant for Pfizer (1981 to 1990; 2014-), Science Advisory Boards of UCB (2006 - ), SKB (1997 -2000 ) Syntaxin (2009 - ), Isogenica (2008- )  He has developed new approaches and software for modelling proteins and structure-guided, fragment-based drug discovery.


Tom Blundell is Director of Research and Professor Emeritus in Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, where he was Sir William Dunn Professor (1996 - 2009), and Chair of School of Biological Sciences (2003 – 2009). He has previously held teaching and research positions in the Universities of London, Sussex and Oxford.

Roles in Public Bodies, Royal Commissions and Charities

A member of PM Margaret Thatcher’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology, ACOST (1988-1990), Founding CEO of BBSRC, 1991-1996 (Chair from 2009), Chair of Royal Commission on Environment (1998-2005), Deputy Chair, Institute of Cancer Research since 2008 & President of UK Science Council since 2011.


Knighted in 1997. Member several academies: Royal Society (1984) EMBO (1984); Academia Europaea (1993); Indian National Science Academy (1995); Academy Medical Sciences (1999) & The World Academy of Sciences, TWAS (2008).

1987 Gold Medal, Institute Biotechnology; 1987 Krebs Medal, FEBS; 1988 Ciba Medal; 1988 Feldberg Prize Biology & Medicine; 1996 Gold Medal, Society Chemical Industry; 1998 Pfizer European Prize Innovation; 1998 Bernal Medal, Royal Society;  2013 Biochemical Society Award; 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society Prize.

Fellow, Sidney Sussex College Cambridge; Honorary Fellow: Brasenose & Linacre Colleges, Oxford; & Birkbeck College; Honorary Doctorates from 16 Universities


Spending time with family, walking, international travel, modern jazz and opera. Some of this is recorded in Desert Island Discs in 2006.