We recognise that a company’s real strengths lie in the people that it employs. At Charnwood Molecular, our scientists bring a wealth of creative experience to the team – the majority of our research personnel have extensive postdoctoral experience, including as research scientists within major pharmaceutical companies.

Our strategy is to employ the most talented chemists and to regularly invest in the latest technology and equipment in order to provide the highest quality and service for outsourced research and synthesis.

Charnwood Molecular has a highly experienced leadership team:

Professor Steven Allin

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Allin co-founded Charnwood Molecular in 1998.

Steve graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Chemistry and Pharmacology, and obtained his Ph.D. from Liverpool in the area of asymmetric synthesis. Steve gained postdoctoral experience with Professor Alan R. Katritzky at the Centre for Heterocyclic Compounds, University of Florida.

Steve was Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in Organic Chemistry at Loughborough University from 1997 until 2008. He was Professor of Organic Chemistry at Keele University from 2008-2012, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Forensics at Nottingham Trent University from 2012-2015, Head of the NTU Doctoral School and a member of the University Leadership Team from 2015-2017.  In February 2017 Steve moved to Charnwood Molecular to become the Managing Director, providing day-to-day leadership and management during a significant planned growth phase for the company. He retains a research position (part-time) at NTU.

Steve has a proven research track record in heterocyclic chemistry, natural product synthesis and asymmetric synthesis.

John Handley

Managing Director

John joined Charnwood Molecular as Managing Director in January 2020.

John has a wealth of management and leadership experience, having held senior roles in a variety of CRO businesses. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and gained his Masters from the University of Cardiff investigating the effects of acid rain on fish populations.

John has held a number of senior leadership roles before joining Charnwood, most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Concept Life Sciences, providing leadership across the Integrated Discovery and Development Services and Analytical Development Services divisions.

Prior to this he was both General Manager and President (Europe) for Envigo and held previous roles as both President and VP (Operations) at Harlan Laboratories. John brings an extensive experience of the CRO business focusing on growth, quality, efficient operations, on time delivery and client communications.

Trevor Nolan

Chief Financial Officer

Trevor joined Charnwood Molecular as Chief Financial Officer in March 2020.

Having studied Chemistry at University of Leicester and gained a PhD with University of Nottingham in the study of organometallic reactions in low temperature polymer matrices, Trevor shifted focus towards financial management and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young.

Since then, Trevor has focused his career in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector, holding a number of financial leadership roles in businesses covering a range from high street healthcare, hospital operations, medical device manufacture and distribution, and laboratory services for clinical life science and medical research.

Before joining Charnwood, he served as Finance Director at Source BioScience, a PE backed Life Sciences group offering diverse products and services to academia, Big Pharma and the NHS, and prior to that as Director of Finance with Fresenius Medical Care, a global healthcare corporation. He is focused on supporting Charnwood’s lab teams through maintaining a solid corporate infrastructure as the business grows.

Charlotte Coore

Head of People

Charlotte joined Charnwood Molecular as Head of People in March 2020.

Charlotte brings to the Company extensive HR experience from her previous role as a HR Director in an employee engagement Company, in which she supported the company since its inception through the creation and implementation of HR policies, rapid recruitment and in supporting key stakeholders with employee engagement incentives to build a people centric culture. Prior to this, Charlotte worked in a HR capacity for Companies such as STERIS, British Red Cross and Nottingham Trent University.  Along with her HR experience, she also has a degree in Business and Enterprise Management and is CIPD qualified.

Charlotte is supporting our exciting, ambitious and driven growth plans and will be responsible for the HR department. She will have an overview of the whole employee lifecycle, from attraction and on-boarding, all the way through to the employee experience at work, including learning and development, reward and benefits, equality and diversity, performance and talent management.

Dr Mike McKenzie

Head of Operations

Mike joined Charnwood Molecular at its inception in 1998 as a Research Chemist, becoming Head of Chemistry in August 1999 and Head of Operations in June 2011.

Mike holds a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, and prior to joining Charnwood Molecular,he carried out postdoctoral research at Liverpool University in the field of enzymatic/whole cell asymmetric transformations, and in the area of bone disease therapeutics.

Mike’s understanding of our customer base, his attention to detail and his commitment to the highest quality of customer service has been pivotal in the development of Charnwood Molecular as a leading contract research organisation since its inception in 1998.

Dr James Hitchin

Head of Medicinal Chemistry

James joined Charnwood Molecular in December 2016 as Head of Medicinal Chemistry.

James brings extensive experience from across multiple therapeutic areas in drug discovery, having previously held senior positions at SAFC Pharma, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and KemFine Oy.

Prior to joining Charnwood, James was Senior Medicinal Chemist at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, where he worked on various target classes, including kinases and epigenetic targets. James has led numerous projects from hit identification right through to lead optimization and beyond, and has an in depth knowledge of modern drug discovery, as exemplified by his impressive publication record.

Dr Robin Wilkes

Director of Business Development

Robin joined Charnwood Molecular in December 2014 as Director of Business Development.

With over 22 years’ experience in the sector, Robin has held a variety of roles covering technical and commercial aspects, with both discovery and development emphasis.

Robin’s technical achievements include contributing to IND candidates whilst in oncology drug discovery with OSI Pharmaceuticals, and achieving milestones for advancement of drug candidates to clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas whilst within contract research environments for companies including Evotec and Sygnature Discovery.

An inventor on 6 patents and author of 25 publications to date, Robin is a results focused individual. His role is to advance Charnwood Molecular’s business interests globally.

Dr James Morey

Head of Process Research and Development

After graduating with an MChem from UMIST (now the University of Manchester) in 2001, James began his career as a bench chemist within the Discovery Research Division at GlaxoSmithKline. He made several important contributions in declaring tractable lead series for high-profile kinase targets. Three years later, the opportunity to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge in main-group organometallic chemistry applied to organic synthesis, kindled his interest in understanding chemical reactions intimately and using this knowledge to engineer optimal outcomes in complex synthetic routes.

After a brief stint back in a Medicinal Chemistry role (Lead Optimisation), James carried out research and development into the challenging area of novel blue polymer-organic light emitting diodes (P-OLED’s) which augmented his practical experience of Process Research and Development in an industrial setting.

After 13 years laboratory experience, James became Technical Director and a Board member at ProSynth Ltd, with overall responsibility for quoting, project management and delivery of custom synthesis projects ranging from mg to kg scales.