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Chas Bountra

Chas Bountra

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford and the Head of Impact and Innovation in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine. He is also a Professor of Translational Medicine.

Chas Bountra, PhD 

Chas Bountra serves as the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford. He is also a Professor of Translational Medicine and the Head of Impact and Innovation in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine. Additionally, he holds the position of Director at Oxford University Innovations and is a Professorial Fellow at Keble College, Oxford.

Chas is a recognized expert, contributing to several government and charitable research funding bodies. He advises academic institutions, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical drug discovery programs. In 2012, he was honoured as one of the “top innovators in the industry.” He received the prestigious “Rita and John Cornforth Award” from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2014. Furthermore, he was voted “Master of the Bench” in the Medicine Maker Power List for both 2017 and 2018. In 2018, he was awarded the “Order of the British Empire” in the New Year’s Honours List.

Before returning to Oxford in 2008, Chas held the position of Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. His contributions included identifying over 40 clinical candidates for various gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, and neuro-psychiatric diseases. More than 20 of these molecules progressed into patient studies, with several achieving successful “Proof of Concept” data and advancing to late-stage development. Chas played a pivotal role in launching and developing the first treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Alosetron) and demonstrating the anti-emetic properties of neurokinin NK1 antagonists in preclinical and clinical studies.

During his tenure as Director of SGC-Oxford from 2008 to mid-2020, Chas Bountra established a pioneering research group specializing in human protein structural biology and epigenetics chemical biology. This endeavor also marked one of the most successful open innovation and public-private partnerships globally. Here are some notable achievements of this remarkable team:

  • Protein Purification: The team purified over 1700 novel human proteins, contributing significantly to our understanding of human biology.
  • 3D Structures: They generated 3D structures for more than 900 soluble proteins and over 30 integral membrane proteins. These structures provide critical insights into protein function and interactions.
  • Target Enabling Packages: The team created over 30 ‘Target Enabling Packages’ for newly identified drug targets. These packages facilitate the development of therapeutics by providing essential information about the targets.
  • Selective Inhibitors: Chas’s team developed more than 50 highly selective inhibitors for novel ‘epigenetic proteins’. These inhibitors play a crucial role in drug discovery and research.
  • Global Impact: The novel tools and research findings were shared with over 8000 academic labs and companies, leading to over 600 peer-reviewed publications by team members. Additionally, these tools enabled the work of 2000 other researchers worldwide.
  • Catalyzing Science: By emphasizing immediate and open dissemination of data and knowledge, this initiative catalyzed new, reproducible science on an unprecedented scale across the globe.

Recent publications

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