Meet the Team

About   I

We take pride in being your approachable and responsive partner, providing and responding to feedback regularly, supporting you all the way through your journey.

Roy Valentine. BSc, PhD, CChem

Chief Executive Officer

Roy’s background includes employment at Ciba Geigy, Givauden and he helped to establish Wendstone Chemicals which was later acquired by Laporte, before setting up High Force Research together with Stuart Penny and Bob Redfern.

In his previous role as Research Director, Roy oversaw all of the non-GMP specific chemistry projects and managed a team of synthetic chemists made up of Team Leaders and Research and Process Development Chemists with BSC; PhD and Post-Doctoral experience. Although he still likes to get back to the bench when he can.

Stuart Penny. MRSC, CChem

Operations Director

A Chartered Chemist, as Operations Director, Stuart introduced GMP operations to High Force Research and is currently responsible for overseeing development of new chemical entities through development to small scale GMP manufacture. Stuart is responsible for preparing all GMP proposals and manages a team of GMP trained Chemists. When time permits, he likes to return to the lab to help out with synthetic projects.

Before helping establish High Force Research he previously worked in the Fine Chemicals Industry where he gained many years experience as a Process Development Chemist in laboratory and pilot plant operations.

Zoe Hudson. BSc, MSc

Head of Quality Assurance

Zoe worked at GSK before joining High Force Research in 1996 where she initially started work in the synthetic development laboratories. She quickly became involved with all GMP aspects of High Force Research’s work and was fundamental in setting up the quality control department.

She became QC Manager (2002) prior to being appointed QA manager (2004) before her present role as Head of Quality Assurance. Zoe oversees all regulatory compliance and quality matters and is the first port of call for everything QA-related.

Nicola Lembicz. BSc, PhD

Head of Manufacture

Nicola joined High Force Research in 1996 after completing her PhD at Newcastle University with Prof. Bernard Golding on ‘The Design and Synthesis of Novel Inhibitors of the DNA repair enzyme MGMT.’

She has successfully completed many research projects with High Force Research and has particular expertise in nucleoside and carbohydrate chemistries. Nicola is responsible for all new and current research and development projects and oversees traceable manufacture at the Bowburn site.

Barry Thompson. BSc, PhD

Development Manager

Barry joined High Force Research in 2002 after completing his PhD at Sunderland University under the supervision of Prof. Paul Groundwater & Prof. Otto Meth-Cohn, studying the multistep convergent synthesis of Alnusoxide via two alternative routes.

His role at HFR is primarily focused on process development and the scale-up of chemical processes to the kilogram scale, utilising the large scale reactors and equipment at High Force Research’s Bowburn site. Expertise includes the development of API intermediates, electronic and inorganic compounds, plus polymers and nanoparticles.

Neil Sim. MChem, PhD

Head of Research

Neil joined High Force Research in 2014 following a highly successful PhD under the supervision of Prof. David Parker FRS at Durham University, where he developed novel imaging probes for glutamate receptors. Initially joining the chemical R&D team at Bowburn, Neil quickly became more involved in all new projects at High Force, and in 2016 was appointed to lead the team at our research labs at NETPark.

Neil’s role involves the management of all aspects of work at the NETPark site as well as facilitating new academic partnerships and collaborations. He has expertise in multistep chemical synthesis across a range of sectors, with particular focus on Molecular Imaging and Diagnostics.

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