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Matthew H. Todd
drug discovery tuberculosis methodology

1. Introduction

Matthew Houghton Todd (born 13 January 1973) is a British chemist and the Professor and Chair of Drug Discovery of the School of Pharmacy at University College London.[1] He is the founder of Open Source Malaria (OSM) and his research focuses on drug discovery and development for this disease.[2][3][4][5][6] Recently, he has expanded to other areas, particularly neglected diseases such as tuberculosis and mycetoma[7] in the Open Source Tuberculosis (OSTB) and Open Source Mycetoma (MycetOS) project, through a collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and Erasmus MC.[8] In addition, he has some research activity in catalysis and methodology.[9][10][11][12]

2. Education

Todd received an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1995. He obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the same institution in 1999, working with Chris Abell on encoding and linker strategies for combinatorial chemistry.[13][14][15][16] Todd was a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley from 1999 to 2000, working with Paul A. Bartlett on synthesis of amino acid-derived heterocycles by Lewis acid catalysis and radical cyclisations from peptide acetals.[17][18]

3. Career and Research

From 2000 to 2001, he was a College Fellow and Lecturer at New Hall, Cambridge (now Murray Edwards College, Cambridge). He began his independent research career in 2001 at Queen Mary University of London. In 2005, he relocated to Australia where he was a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor at the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney. In 2018, he returned to the United Kingdom to take the role of professor and Chair of Drug Discovery at UCL School of Pharmacy.[1]

In response to the price hike of HIV/AIDS drug, pyrimethamine (Daraprim), by Turing Pharmaceuticals,[19] Todd and the Open Source Malaria team led a small team of high school students from Sydney Grammar School to synthesise the drug.[20][21] The students produced 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine for US$20, which would be worth between US$35,000 and US$110,000 in the United States based on hiked prices.[22] This received significant media attention and was featured on ABC,[22] BBC,[23] CNN,[24] The Guardian ,[21] and Time (magazine) .[25]

Todd has been a vocal proponent of open science and open research.[2][5][26][27][28][29] In 2011, he proposed Six Laws of Open Research to guide present and future open research projects including OSM and MycetOS:[5][30][31][32][33]

  1. All data are open and all ideas are shared.
  2. Anyone can take part at any level of the project.
  3. There will be no patents.
  4. Suggestions are the best form of criticism.
  5. Public discussion is much more valuable than private email.
  6. The project is bigger than, and is not owned by, any given lab. The aim is to find a good drug for malaria, by whatever means, as quickly as possible.

Todd is on the Editorial boards of Chemistry Central Journal,[34] ChemistryOpen,[35] PLOS One,[36] Scientific Reports,[37] and Scientific Data.[38]

4. Honours and Awards

  • 2011 – NSW Premier's Prize for Science & Engineering (Emerging Research)[39]
  • 2012 – Wellcome Trust/Google/PLOS Accelerating Science Award[40]
  • 2014 – Blue Obelisk Award[41]
  • 2017 – Medicine Maker Power List[42]
  • 2018 – Medicine Maker Power List[43]
  • 2019 – Medicine Maker Power List[44]
  • 2020 – Medicine Maker Power List[45]
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Professor Matthew Todd – UCL School of Pharmacy". 
  2. Peplow, M (2019). "Open-source drug discovery takes aim at malaria and neglected diseases". C&EN (ACS). 
  3. Lowe, D. "The Open Source Malaria Project, So Far". In The Pipeline. 
  4. Williamson, AE (2016). "Open Source Drug Discovery: Highly Potent Antimalarial Compounds Derived from the Tres Cantos Arylpyrroles". ACS Central Science 2 (10): 687–701. doi:10.1021/acscentsci.6b00086. PMID 27800551.
  5. Robertson, MN (2014). "Open source drug discovery – A limited tutorial". Parasitology 141 (1): 148–157. doi:10.1017/S0031182013001121. PMID 23985301.
  6. Tse, EG; Korsik, M; Todd, MH (2019). "The past, present and future of anti-malarial medicines". Malaria Journal 18 (1): 93. doi:10.1186/s12936-019-2724-z. PMID 30902052.
  7. Lim, W (2018). "Addressing the most neglected diseases through an open research model: The discovery of fenarimols as novel drug candidates for eumycetoma". PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12 (2): e0006437. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0006437. PMID 29698504.
  8. "MycetOS – DNDi". 
  9. Park, SJ (2002). "Oxidative Arylation of Isochroman". Journal of Organic Chemistry 77 (2): 949–955. doi:10.1021/jo2021373. PMID 22142205. 
  10. Tsang, ASK (2009). "Facile synthesis of vicinal diamines via oxidation of N-phenyltetrahydroisoquinolines with DDQ". Tetrahedron Letters 50 (11): 1199–1202. doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2008.12.101.
  11. Hashmi, ASK (2010). "Gold-Catalysis: Reactions of Organogold Compounds with Electrophiles". Australian Journal of Chemistry 63 (12): 1619–1626. doi:10.1071/CH10342.
  12. Ahamed, M (2010). "Catalytic Asymmetric Additions of Carbon‐Centered Nucleophiles to Nitrogen‐Containing Aromatic Heterocycles". European Journal of Organic Chemistry 2010 (31): 5935–5942. doi:10.1002/ejoc.201000877.
  13. Todd, MH (1997). "Studies on the synthesis, characterisation and reactivity of aromatic diboronic acids". Tetrahedron Letters 38 (38): 6781–6784. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(97)01552-9.
  14. Todd, MH (2001). "Novel chemical tagging method for combinatorial synthesis utilizing Suzuki chemistry and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry". Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry 3 (3): 319–327. doi:10.1021/cc000112m. PMID 11350256.
  15. Todd, MH (1999). "A novel safety-catch linker for the solid-phase synthesis of amides and esters". Organic Letters 1 (8): 1149–1151. doi:10.1021/ol990785h.
  16. "Past Members - The Abell Group". 
  17. Todd, MH (2002). "Amino acid derived heterocycles: Lewis acid catalyzed and radical cyclizations from peptide acetals". Journal of Organic Chemistry 67 (12): 3985–3988. doi:10.1021/jo010990m. PMID 12054930. 
  18. "Paul A. Bartlett Group Alumni". 
  19. Timmerman, L. "A Timeline of the Turing Pharma Controversy". Forbes. 
  20. Reiner, V (30 November 2016). "Students make $750 drug cheaply with Open Source Malaria team". University of Sydney. 
  21. Davey, M. "Australian students recreate Martin Shkreli price-hike drug in school lab". The Guardian. 
  22. Hunjan, R. "Daraprim drug's key ingredient recreated by high school students in Sydney for just $20". ABC. 
  23. Dunlop, G. "Martin Shkreli: Australian boys recreate life-saving drug". BBC. 
  24. Roberts, E. "'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli meets his match in a group of Australian schoolboys". CNN. 
  25. Lui, K. "Watch Martin Shkreli Respond to the School Kids Who Recreated His Drug for $2 a Dose". Time. 
  26. Woelfle, M (2011). "Open science is a research accelerator". Nature Chemistry 3 (10): 745–748. doi:10.1038/nchem.1149. PMID 21941234. Bibcode: 2011NatCh...3..745W. 
  27. Laursen, L (2016). "Tropical disease: A neglected cause". Nature 533 (7602): S68–S69. doi:10.1038/533S68a. PMID 27167396. Bibcode: 2016Natur.533S..68L.
  28. Anderson, T (2016). "Can open-source drug development deliver?". The Lancet 387 (10032): 1983–1984. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30518-9. PMID 27203757.
  29. Todd, MH. "Why open source pharma is the path to both new and cheaper medicines". The Guardian. 
  30. Todd, MH. "Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria". 
  31. Pearce, R. "Researchers look to open source to tackle deadly infection". 
  32. "Open Source Research – OpenWetWare". 
  33. Williamson, AE. "Open science: the future of research?". ABC. 
  34. "Chemistry Central Journal (Editorial Board)". 
  35. "Editorial Advisory Board". 
  36. "Editorial Board". 
  37. "Editorial Advisory Panel and Editorial Board". 
  38. "Editors, Advisory Panel & Editorial Board". 
  39. "Honour Roll – NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer". 
  41. "Blue Obelisk Awards". 
  42. "The Power List 2017". 
  43. "The Power List 2018". 
  44. "The Power List 2019". 
  45. "The Power List 2020". 
Name: Matthew H. Todd
Born: Jan 1973
Manchester, United Kingdom
Titles: Chemist Chair of Drug Discovery of the School of Pharmacy at University Colleg London
Affiliations: University of California, Berkeley Queen Mary University of London University of Sydney University College London
Honor: Founder of Open Source Malaria (OSM)
Subjects: Others
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View Times: 1.1K
Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 23 Nov 2022
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