Adam Pawson, PhD
Adam Pawson (Adam J. Pawson) is a British pharmacologist, biocurator and bioinformatician at The University of Edinburgh.
An experienced pharmacologist, biocurator and bioinformatician for a portfolio of online bio/ chem/ pharmacoinformatic resources being developed for students and academic/ industrial scientists working in the areas of pharmacology, immunopharmacology and malaria, and related to drug/ target research, to educate and to foster innovative drug discovery.
Previously directed an internationally competitive research programme specialising in G protein-coupled receptor pharmacology, intracellular trafficking, signal transduction and peptide hormone endocrinology towards the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of hormone-dependent diseases and assisted reproductive techniques.
Senior Database Curator/ Bioinformatician (2011-present), The University of Edinburgh, CMVM, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
Working with a team of developers and curators, as an experienced biocurator and project manager, developing a portfolio of open access, high-quality, customer-driven and customer-focused online bio/ chem/ pharmacoinformatic resources, collectively known as the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY database (https://www.guidetopharmacology.org/), produced under the auspices of the International Union for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR), the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the Wellcome Trust. Collectively, these expanding resources include concise overviews of the properties of 1,700 data-supported human drug targets and related proteins, divided into families, and 9,000 small molecule and peptide experimental ligands and approved drugs that bind to those targets. More detailed descriptions of pharmacology, function, and pathophysiology are provided for a subset of important targets. The resources are targeted at students and academic/ industrial scientists working in the areas of basic and clinical pharmacology, immunopharmacology, malaria pharmacology, synthetic biology, pharmacology education and data citation, and related to drug/target research, to educate and to foster innovative drug discovery.
Responsibilities are wide-ranging, and include: Development and application of novel informatics workflows and data sources. Translation and integration of information relevant to pharmacology into the online resources that enables integration of the scientific literature as well as large data sets. Accurate and comprehensive representation of pharmacological knowledge, as well as easy access to this data for working scientists and a basis for computational analysis. Regular engagement with basic and clinical research and industrial scientists globally, and an international network of over 800 expert pharmacologists (organised into over 109 subcommittees) to manage responses for requests for information or updated material, collect new data and ensure existing data is accurate, peer-reviewed and regularly updated. Data and chemistry extraction from patents and medicinal chemistry literature. Overseeing information curation and upload, and information management (translation, integration, dissemination, storage, archiving). Evaluation of project progress, general curatorial workload and forward planning. Regularly producing database user documentation and teaching material, and frequently run postgraduate database training programmes and workshops. Working with the developer and curators, to oversee the preparation of database release cycles, and disseminating, promoting and publicising the latest developments of the projects though online marketing, through training workshops, teaching and at local and international meetings. Developing Journal-to-database connectivity, and working with our publishing partners to ensure database to publication connectivity is accurate and completed by publication deadlines, and overall management of our partner publication pipelines. Key player in biennial CGTP production and publication, and in data citation management and GtoPdb CITE design and development.
Executive Secretary (2012-present; voluntary, unpaid work), International Union for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology
Ex officio member and Executive Secretary of the Nomenclature and Standards Committee of the International Union for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (NC-IUPHAR), supporting Executives and Committee members: Taking the lead in fundraising, business development and commercialisation activities as related to the online resources of NC-IUPHAR. Providing administrative support and performing numerous duties, including organising bi-annual international scientific meetings (Paris and Edinburgh), scheduling, email correspondence, handling visitors, and answering questions and requests, compiling minutes, monthly and annual reports, newsletters. Organising, hosting and chairing face-to-face and virtual strategy meetings. Resolving financial aspects with the Chair and Treasurer. Liaising with the IUPHAR office and other Sections and Committees of IUPHAR. Liaising with the NC-IUPHAR commissioning Editor of Pharmacological Reviews and British Journal of Pharmacology for the streamlining of NC-IUPHAR publications, and overseeing development of publication strategy.
Senior Investigator Scientist, Post-doctoral Scientist (1999-2011), Medical Research Council, Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, the Queen’s Medical Research Institute
Responsible for providing scientific leadership and delivering high impact research: Directing internationally competitive basic and clinical science research programmes, focussed on drug-target pharmacology, intracellular trafficking, signal transduction and peptide hormone endocrinology, toward the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of hormone-dependent diseases and assisted reproductive techniques. Planning the scientific direction of the research programme. Recruiting, training, line managing and developing research team members. Securing and managing external funding from grant-giving bodies and industries. Managing the financial and equipment resources of the programme. Publishing the work of the programme in appropriate internationally visible scientific journals and other relevant media. Presenting the results of the research at national and international meetings and conferences. Engaging with industry and technology transfer initiatives to translate the results of research into useful new approaches or treatments that can be taken up by the appropriate industry, ultimately to improve human health. Working in and managing a laboratory environment, with extensive technical experience.
Teaching and supervising experience (1997-present)
Lecturer for Applied Pharmacology, Honours Pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh (2015-present); Numerous Tutorials and Workshops on the utility of the Guide to PHARMACOLOGY database (2012-present); Lecturer for MSc/ Diploma in Reproductive Biology/ Health course run by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit (1999-2002); Supervising two PhD students (MRC 2009, 2011), and three MSc students (MRC 2005, 2008; Cape Town 1997), tutoring honours students (2000-present).
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