Richard E. Lee is Member and Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
His research focuses on anti-infective medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design, emphasizing the generation of novel inhibitors to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. Richard’s research has produced two drug candidates that have advanced into clinical trials. Recent accomplishments include the development of spectinamide antitubercular agents and discovering allosteric pantothenate kinase modulators. He is actively involved in advocacy for the need for new antibiotics and how the problem can be best addressed from a chemistry perspective and is a veteran of many high throughput screening campaigns as well as consequent follow-up hit to lead chemistry efforts. Richard is happy to provide advice to junior investigators on how to be successful in the challenging area of antimicrobial drug discovery.
Richard received his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Newcastle, UK in 1993 and subsequently held postdoctoral fellowship positions at Colorado State University, USA and Oxford University, UK. He then moved to a staff scientist position in the intramural program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) also in the USA, before taking a tenure-track position at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Pharmacy. In August 2009, Richard moved his research program to the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Here, he co-directs the NIH-sponsored infectious disease therapeutics postdoctoral training program.