This year’s Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been given to Paul Workman ‘for his work as a scientific pioneer and serial entrepreneur whose numerous commercialised discoveries and academic research led to his founding two successful chemical companies: Piramed Pharma and Chroma Therapeutics‘.

The award is an international accolade that recognises an individual’s contribution to the commercialisation of research. Awarded annually, the winner is featured in Chemistry World and receives £4000 and a trophy.

Workman is a chemical biologist and molecular pharmacologist at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) where he is currently deputy chief executive and director of the ICR’s Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit in Sutton, UK. He has been responsible for a large number of new cancer drugs and his unit at ICR has discovered 16 preclinical development candidates over the last six years.

Upon hearing of the award, Workman spoke of the importance of creating a great team and of his motivation to work in drug discovery: ‘Successful drug discovery is incredibly complex and requires not just scientific expertise but also great people. It has been a real privilege for me to build a high-performing, multidisciplinary team and to collaborate with some fantastic colleagues. Also, because we want to bring effective new drugs

Paul Workman

to patients as fast possible, it’s been important for us to build a network of commercial collaborations. But the main motivation for me is that the drugs we discover through our science have a real impact on the lives of cancer patients.’

Karl Coleman of Durham Graphene Science and Hagan Bayley of Oxford Nanopore Technologies are previous winners of the award. A feature length article on Workman will be published  in the September issue of Chemistry World.

Bibiana Campos Seijo

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