Very Sad News - Professor Chris Abell FRS FMedSci
The College is very sad to announce that our Fellow, Professor Chris Abell, died suddenly on Monday 26 October.
Chris was admitted to the Fellowship in 1986 and held the College's Todd-Hamied Fellowship in Chemistry. He was regarded with great admiration and respect by all in Christ's. His contribution to the College over the years has been enormous, generously giving his time and energy helping to transform many areas as a wise Director of Studies, Tutor, and member of the College Council.
As well as all his activities in College he was a highly regarded Professor of Biological Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed the first Director of Postdoctoral Affairs for the University in 2013 and, from 2016, held the post of Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 when the Society described 'his research as having changed the face of drug discovery'.
Chris was a pioneer in the field of fragment-based drug discovery, an innovative approach to designing small molecules that bind specifically and selectively to proteins. He has pursued this area academically and commercially. In 1999 he cofounded Astex on the Cambridge Science Park. Astex developed an international reputation is drug discovery. In 2013 Astex was purchased by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for $886m. In 2017, the first Astex-associated drug Kisqali [for breast cancer] secured FDA approval. In his University lab, the Abell group focus on developing new therapies for tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis and cancer.