Dr. Donna Macmillan, Principal Scientist
Name: Donna Macmillan
Job Title: Principal Scientist
My name is Donna and I joined Lhasa as a scientist in December 2013.
Prior to working at Lhasa, I received a BSc(Hons) in Biomolecular and Medicinal Chemistry in 2008 and a PhD (Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel multi-receptor ligands with potential application in schizophrenia therapeutics) in 2012 from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I continued my research into medicinal chemistry by undertaking a short post-doc, also at the University of Strathclyde, synthesising small peptide analogues for potential use in osteoarthritis. I then branched out into the area of green chemistry by carrying out a project in partnership with some well-known industry organisations. Next, I joined a custom-research organisation where I made a number of active pharmaceutical ingredients before I decided I quite fancied a non-lab based job and jumped ship!
I joined Lhasa as I thought it would be a good use of my previously acquired skills whilst simultaneously providing new challenges. At Lhasa, I have been able to apply the knowledge and experience gained throughout my scientific career to the field of predictive toxicology. Initially I started with developing knowledge for expert-based prediction systems which allowed me the opportunity to go to the USA for a 3-month data-sharing secondment in summer 2015. Now I spend my time trying to improve upon and expand our assessment of chemical-induced skin sensitisation - an increasingly important use case for our members. This role involves interacting with members, travelling to present at/attend relevant conferences and contributing to the field by writing papers and publishing our work in peer-reviewed journals. I have also had the opportunity to gain additional qualifications as I recently attended an examined training course on “Safety Assessment of Cosmetics in the EU” (run by Vrije Universiteit Brussel) in February 2016 to further develop my knowledge around cosmetic ingredients and the skin sensitisation endpoint.
Outside of Lhasa I enjoy going to the gym and cooking. I also enjoy visiting my family in Scotland, socialising with friends in the pub and going to music gigs and festivals all over the UK.