Since 2018 Dr. Rick Cousins has been an independent scientific advisor in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry for small molecule, peptide and oligonucleotide projects. Rick has worked with large pharma, private equity investors, venture capital and early-stage life-science biotech companies providing advice and supporting drug discovery activities. Before becoming an independent consultant, Rick was a Senior Scientific Director in drug discovery at GSK, in a new science incubator group, as well as the Protein Degradation Discovery Performance Unit and was the internal GSK lead for hearing-loss drug discovery.
Rick is a visiting professor at UCL Ear Institute, supporting their translational science activities. Rick is a member of the SAB for the EPSRC Prosperity Grant ‘A healthier nation’ alliance with GSK, and the universities of Nottingham and Strathclyde. Rick was also a Director in the GSK external drug discovery group in the GSK alliances with Epix Pharmaceuticals, Galapagos Pharmaceuticals, Neurosearch, Chroma Therapeutics and Ranbaxy Drug Discovery Group. Rick was the alliance director for the GSK strategic alliances with Peptidream Inc., Prosensa Therapeutics & the Max Planck Institute.
Rick's research activities included novel modalities for protein degradation and a range of therapeutic areas including oncology, hearing loss and neuroscience. Rick supports the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) providing ad hoc advice and is a member of the RNID Translational Research in Hearing Loss awards review panel. During his 29 years at GSK, Rick has been part of or led drug discovery programs at all stages of drug discovery including screening, lead generation, lead optimisation and clinical candidate selection. Rick has worked on a wide variety of targets for many therapeutic areas, including respiratory (Vilanterol), anti-infectives (Epivir), neuroscience and immunoinflammatory disorders.