Professor Peter Simpson

Chief Scientific Officer

Medicines Discovery Catapult

Peter has most recently been the Director of N8 Research Partnership, the not-for-profit body that establishes multi-university research collaborations across the North of England. Peter led strategic engagement on innovation policy in the Northern Powerhouse with government ministers and departments, and with Local Enterprise partnerships, and built a strong evidence base for Northern industrial research strengths.

With extensive experience in drug discovery in major pharmaceutical companies, Peter brings a wealth of open innovation expertise and strategic early discovery knowledge. Peter worked for AstraZeneca in Alderley Park for nine years. There, Peter directed assay development, high throughput and safety screening, and sample management departments, and led oncology discovery projects. He pioneered AstraZeneca’s industry-leading Open Innovation strategy for early discovery. Peter was responsible for setting up successful discovery partnerships with international organisations including: European Lead Factory, MRC-T (now LifeArc), Lead Discovery Centre Dortmund, NeoMed in Canada, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and Academic Drug Discovery Consortium in the US. Prior to that, Peter worked in Neuroscience project and cell imaging management roles for Merck Sharp & Dohme.