I obtained a PhD in synthetic chemistry, working with Andrew Holmes at the University of Cambridge. I then was a post-doctoral fellow with Parke-Davis Research, before spending a year teaching chemistry at the University of Zambia. On returning to the UK, I undertook post-doctoral work at the University of Cambridge in the area of chemical biology, before establishing my own independent medicinal chemistry research group at the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff University. The focus of my research was drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases. In 2005, I moved to a chair at the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. There, I helped to establish the Drug Discovery Unit, where I am head of chemistry.