John Overington

John studied Chemistry at the University of Bath, graduating in 1987. He then studied for a PhD at Birkbeck College, London in the Department of Crystallography. Whilst there he was involved in developing automated approaches to protein modelling, contributing to the development of COMPOSER and MODELLER; however his major research was on sequence-structure relationships, exploring the constraints applied by the local physical environment of a residue in it's allowed mutation patterns (JOY and HOMSTRAD). John then held a postdoctoral position at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK). John then joined Pfizer, originally as a computational chemist, progressing to a role where he led a multidisciplinary group combining rational drug design with structural biology. During this time, John became fascinated by the reasons for target/drug attrition and target validation, and the falling productivity of the entire pharmaceutical industry. In 2000 John moved to a start-up biotech company, Inpharmatica, where we developed a series of computational and data platforms to improve drug discovery, including the SAR database StARLite. In 2008 John was centrally involved in the transfer of this database to the EMBL-EBI, where the successor is now known as ChEMBL. More recently, the work has extended into patent informatics with the Open patent database SureChEMBL. More recently John joined a London-based technology company, Stratified Medical, where he continued his translational drug discovery informatics research and development activities and was involved in integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to drug target validation and drug optimisation. John has since moved to ExScientia, who utilize AI to discover and design novel pharmaceuticals.

John’s current research interests relate to information extraction from patents, literature, and the broader internet, and then the mining of these data to discovery and develop new drugs. This includes a particular focus on gene to disease pathology linkage, and prediction of the effects of modulating a potential therapeutic target. This multidisciplinary research includes chemo- and bioinformatics, computer science and pharmacology. John supervises PhD students via a visiting position at UCL

ChEMBL: a large-scale bioactivity database for drug discovery

A Gaulton, LJ Bellis, AP Bento, J Chambers, M Davies, A Hersey, Y Light, ...
Nucleic Acids Research 40, D1100-1107

The genome of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni

M Berriman, BJ Haas, PT LoVerde, RA Wilson, GP Dillon, GC Cerqueira, ...
Nature 460 (7253), 352-358

Can we rationally design promiscuous drugs?

AL Hopkins, JS Mason, JP Overington
Current Opinion In Structural Biology 16 (1), 127-136

Probing the links between in vitro potency, ADMET and physicochemical parameters

MP Gleeson, A Hersey, D Montanari, J Overington
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 10 (3), 197-208

The ChEMBL bioactivity database: an update

AP Bento, A Gaulton, A Hersey, LJ Bellis, J Chambers, M Davies, ...
Nucleic acids research 42 (D1), D1083-D1090

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