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Fellows Directory

Graham Richards

Graham Richards

Professor Graham Richards CBE FRS


Elected: 2018


Graham Richards is a chemist, latterly Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He was one of the pioneers of computational chemistry. His early work was on ab initio computations and spin-orbit coupling. He then turned his attention to pharmaceutical applications and introduced many of the techniques now widely used, including molecular graphics where he produced the first coloured images, and distributed computing. In the latter context he organised the Screensaver Lifesaver project involving more than 3.5 million personal computers in over 200 countries. The project screened billions of compounds in the search for drugs to treat cancer and also to protect against anthrax and smallpox.

He cofounded Oxford Molecular Group Plc, and was involved in the creation of Oxford University Innovation Ltd and of IP Group Plc, of which he was at one time chairman. He is currently founder chairman of Oxford Drug Design Ltd, which is concentrating on the design of novel antibiotics.

Professional positions

Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
Chairman and Founder, Oxford Drug Design Ltd

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, theoretical, Chemistry, biological, Chemistry, physical
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology


Computational chemistry


  • Royal Society Mullard Award

    For his work on the development of the methods of computer-aided molecular design, their application and exploitation. Graham Richards was a pioneer of the field; originated several of the techniques now widely used and was the founder of the company in t

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