Dave Allen, Global Chief Chemist with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), received the honorary Doctor of Science degree in recognition of his pioneering work in drug discovery.

Professor William Kerr, Associate Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Exchange) at the University, presented Mr Allen for the award at a graduation ceremony in Strathclyde’s Barony Hall.

He said: “Dave’s mission and, by association, unstinting vision has focused on the establishment and growth of world-class drug discovery capability, as widely recognised within both the pharmaceutical industry and wider scientific communities.

“As witnessed over many years, Dave has shown outstanding innovation and leadership in the global pharmaceutical arena – and through internationally-leading scientific endeavours in chemistry and biology, resulting in products for the enhancement of health and quality of life.
“Furthermore, he has coupled this with exemplary levels of vision to inspire the development and growth of individual scientists towards the delivery of research excellence.”

Mr Allen, who joined what was then known as Glaxo in the 1980s, currently leads an international team of around 200 scientists and was appointed as GSK’s Global Chief Chemist in 2012. He also holds the post of Senior Vice-President of the Respiratory Therapy Area with GSK.
Within his respiratory research area, he focuses on the creation of new treatments for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which the World Health Organisation say respectively affect 235 million and 65 million people globally.

The University of Strathclyde runs a landmark research programme in collaboration with GSK. In 2009, the University and GSK created a unique, bespoke framework for collaborative research degree programmes – and jointly set up a Postgraduate Doctoral Training Centre, based within the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde – with the aim of helping the company’s employees and other hosted researchers, working in drug discovery and development, obtain MPhil and PhD research degrees through their work-based projects.


University of Strathclyde: ‘Honorary degree for leading pharmaceutical industry scientist’