Dr. Martin Payne, Senior Scientist
Name: Dr. Martin Payne
Job Title: Senior Scientist
I am Martin Payne and a Senior Scientist at Lhasa. I work on projects that improve the scientific performance of Lhasa products, presently primarily Derek Nexus. I graduated from Oxford University with a 2:1 in Chemistry and did a PhD at Rothamsted Experimental Station in physical organic chemistry. I worked as a regulatory toxicologist for the Health and Safety Executive in Bootle (Liverpool) for three years before returning to research at HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory, then in Sheffield. There I developed structure-activity relationships for toxicology endpoints, including skin and respiratory sensitisation, and my work included collaboration with Lhasa Limited at the University of Leeds. I also gained some experience in skin absorption modelling, producing with a more IT gifted colleague, an expert system for its prediction.
I joined Lhasa Limited in December 2001, initially developing chemical metabolism modelling, extending the range of biotransformations in the Meteor program (now Meteor Nexus). During this time one rewarding challenge was contributing a book chapter on chemical metabolism modelling. After 3 years, I returned to toxicity modelling working on a range of endpoints (genotoxicity, skin sensitisation, teratogenicity) improving the performance and knowledge content of Lhasa’s Derek software (now Derek Nexus). I presently enjoy applying my experience of toxicology and interest in mechanism mainly in a peer review role within the Derek Nexus knowledge development team. I find one of the best aspects of my job, is that I am always learning new science and the work is intellectually challenging and varied. I enjoyed a couple of years working on a DEFRA-Link project collaborating with academic and industrial partners outside Lhasa Limited. This included developing a semi-quantitative toxicity prediction system for aquatic toxicity “Eco-Derek” and an expert advice system for skin sensitisation assessment using in vitro and in silico methodologies. I attend stimulating conferences (roughly annually) which are sometimes in interesting places. I find acquiring new IT skills “challenging”; my young colleagues are far more adept at machine learning techniques than I!
Outside work, I like to spend time with my family particularly my young daughter who has myotonic dystrophy (DM1). I attend myotonic dystrophy research conferences and try to make contributions both to research and support groups. On a lighter “note”, I enjoy singing, playing the bassoon, classical music, walking, natural history (particular wild orchids) and astronomy.