Matthew H. Todd

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Matthew H. Todd
Matthew H. Todd.jpg
Todd at the University of Sydney (2013)
Matthew Houghton Todd

(1973-01-13) 13 January 1973 (age 47)
Manchester, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Known forOpen Source Malaria
Open Source Tuberculosis
Open Source Mycetoma
Scientific career
FieldsOrganic chemistry
Drug discovery
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Queen Mary University of London
University of Sydney
University College London
ThesisNovel encoding strategies for combinatorial chemistry (1998)
Doctoral advisorChris Abell
Other academic advisorsPaul A. Bartlett
Notable studentsAlice Motion

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]


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]

Career and research[edit]

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.[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]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • 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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Professor Matthew Todd – UCL School of Pharmacy".
  2. ^ a b Peplow, M (2019). "Open-source drug discovery takes aim at malaria and neglected diseases". C&EN. ACS. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  3. ^ Lowe, D. "The Open Source Malaria Project, So Far". In The Pipeline. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  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. PMC 5084075. PMID 27800551.
  5. ^ a b c Robertson, MN (2014). "Open source drug discovery – A limited tutorial". Parasitology. 141 (1): 148–157. doi:10.1017/S0031182013001121. PMC 3884843. 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. PMC 6431062. 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. PMC 5940239. 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". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  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". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  19. ^ Timmerman, L. "A Timeline of the Turing Pharma Controversy". Forbes. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  20. ^ Reiner, V (30 November 2016). "Students make $750 drug cheaply with Open Source Malaria team". University of Sydney. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  21. ^ a b Davey, M. "Australian students recreate Martin Shkreli price-hike drug in school lab". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  22. ^ a b Hunjan, R. "Daraprim drug's key ingredient recreated by high school students in Sydney for just $20". ABC. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  23. ^ Dunlop, G. "Martin Shkreli: Australian boys recreate life-saving drug". BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  24. ^ Roberts, E. "'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli meets his match in a group of Australian schoolboys". CNN. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  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.
  27. ^ Laursen, L (2016). "Tropical disease: A neglected cause". Nature. 533 (7602): S68–S69. doi:10.1038/533S68a. PMID 27167396.
  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. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  30. ^ Todd, MH. "Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  31. ^ Pearce, R. "Researchers look to open source to tackle deadly infection". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Open Source Research – OpenWetWare". Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  33. ^ Williamson, AE. "Open science: the future of research?". ABC. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Chemistry Central Journal (Editorial Board)". Chemistry Central Journal. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Editorial Advisory Board". ChemistryOpen. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Editorial Board". PLOS ONE. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Editorial Advisory Panel and Editorial Board". Scientific Reports. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Editors, Advisory Panel & Editorial Board". Scientific Data. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  39. ^ "Honour Roll – NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer". NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.
  41. ^ "Blue Obelisk Awards". Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  42. ^ "The Power List 2017". The Medicine Maker.
  43. ^ "The Power List 2018". The Medicine Maker.

External links[edit]