Professor Chas Bountra

Professor of Translational Medicine; Chief Scientist, Structural Genomics Consortium Oxford


Professor Bountra was previously Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. He was involved in the identification of more than 40 clinical candidates for many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases. More than 20 of these molecules progressed into patient studies and more than five of these delivered successful “Proof of Concept” data and progressed into late stage development. He was involved in the launch and development of the first treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Alosetron) and was the first to show that neurokinin NK1 antagonists are anti-emetic in preclinical and clinical studies.

His current interests are i) using X ray structures of novel human proteins to generate small molecule inhibitors, screening in human cells to identify novel targets for drug discovery, and then developing clinical candidates for evaluation in patients, pre-competitively ii) focussing on epigenetic and genetically identified proteins, because these are likely to represent better targets for drug discovery, for many cancer, inflammatory, metabolic and neuro-psychiatric diseases iii) working with colleagues in Oxford to build major programmes in rare diseases and  in Alzheimers Disease, and creating a “BioEscalator” for the rapid translation of science and iv) building stronger links with local hospitals, patient groups, regulatory agencies, private investors, CROs, biotechs and large pharma companies, to create a new, more efficient ecosystem for pioneer drug discovery.

He is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes.


  • Drug discovery
  • Pain
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Open innovation, pre-competitive science, public-private partnerships
  • Translational medicine, experimental medicine
  • Structural biology
  • Epigenetics
  • Chemical biology

Media experience

Professor Bountra has extensive media experience, including both broadcast (TV and radio) and print.