Dr. Tony Long, Principal Scientist
Name: Tony Long
Job Title: Principal Scientist
I’m Tony and I’m a principal scientist in Lhasa’s science team. I graduated in chemistry from The University College of Wales Cardiff (now Cardiff University) and stayed on in the same department for a PhD with Dr. Patrick Shannon, working on synthetic routes to analogues of topoisomerase II inhibitors such as ellipticine and olivacine. Following this I took up a Cancer Research Campaign-funded post at Brunel University working with Dr. John Parrick and colleagues in the Gray Cancer Institute at Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood. This involved the chemical synthesis, characterisation and fluorometric evaluation of candidate molecules for use as probes for hypoxic regions of solid tumours in cancer therapy.
I joined Lhasa Limited (then Lhasa UK) in 1990 when our primary focus was computer applications supporting synthesis planning, particularly retrosynthetic analysis. My first role was developing the chemistry knowledge base that supported these systems - focussing mainly, but not exclusively, on pharmaceutically important heteroaromatic ring systems. I had first become interested in computer aided synthesis planning and chemical reaction databases after having been introduced to the methods by Prof. Peter Sammes whilst at Brunel.
I have seen massive changes at Lhasa over the years and have witnessed the company grow from five or six people all “mucking-in” to get things done to its current state of over a hundred (and still growing) more specialist and highly professional employees who are a fantastic group of people to work with. It is incredible that after so many years, Lhasa still has the ability to stimulate, stretch and challenge - most years see me attempting something different and breaking new ground.
My main scientific interest is in the development of data and knowledge bases for the prediction of xenobiotic metabolism. I lead operations project teams in this domain and also, working across functions, champion relevant existing and emerging products in this area. I am also interested in a wide variety of related scientific topics including toxicology, biochemistry, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and chemical degradation. I enjoy writing scientific publications and am always keen to engage and collaborate on such efforts. I have been hugely privileged over the years to co-author with several highly distinguished and eminent scientists in our field.
Outside of the scientific work, I line manage (directly and indirectly) a team of twelve outstanding PhD-level scientists and, amongst many other things, do a great deal of staff recruitment for the company. I am a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and a member of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX).
Outside of work I enjoy reading - particularly novels, biographies and history; classical music, opera and theatre; spending time with family and friends; and when the weather isn’t too bad I enjoy the occasional round of golf.