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Fellows Directory

Tom Blundell

Tom Blundell

Sir Tom Blundell FMedSci FRS


Elected: 1984


Tom Blundell has conducted research on structures and functions of proteins, including hormones and growth factors, enzymes and their regulatory systems. He helped to define the first three-dimensional structure of insulin in 1969, and now mainly focuses on analysing multiprotein systems involved in receptor signalling and DNA repair. He has also pioneered the development of databases of protein interactions, such as CREDO, and computer-based approaches to protein modelling, including MODELLER, now widely used in academia and industry.

Tom’s contributions have had a significant impact on the development of pharmaceuticals. His innovative techniques for structure-guided drug design and approach to the use of very small molecules — fragments — in early drug discovery, exemplified by his co-founding of Astex Therapeutics, still inform much of the work in this sector.

Tom is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Member of The World Academy of Sciences. He was founding CEO of BBSRC, is a former President of the UK Biosciences Federation, and was knighted in 1997 for his contributions to science.

Professional positions

President, Science Council
Member, Science Advisory Board, UCB
Emeritus Professor and Director of Research, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
Member, Board, Astex Pharmaceuticals
Member, Board, Science Foundation Ireland
Chair, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology), Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Biological modelling
  • Health and human sciences
    • Molecular medicine
  • Other
    • Science policy, Public understanding of science


Biochemistry, Structural Biology, Computational biology, Bioinformatics, Drug Discovery


  • Bernal Lecture

    On 'The networking of academic and industrial research: the UK phenomenon'.

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