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Personal profile

Research interests

Research Expertise:  Very wide experience of synthetic organic, biological and medicinal chemistry, much of it focused in collaborations with academic life science groups and pharmaceutical industry to unravel aspects of key cellular signalling pathways and develop compounds to modulate these with a therapeutic outcome. Major projects since 2000 have included: design and synthesis of phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) inhibitors and chemokine receptor (CXCR2) antagonists for treatment of asthma, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease respectively (UK£2m industrial funding, as part of programmes of total value >UK£15m); design and synthesis of compounds to modulate stem cell development (£1m from ITI Life Sciences as part of programme of total value UK£9.5m). co-I on recently commenced multicentre programme funded by the Scottish Funding Council (2011, UK£2.5m) to develop protocols for red blood cell production from pluripotent stem cells. co-I on additional awards from UK Research Councils and NHS totaling UK£0.94m since 2000 for research on nitric oxide synthase and on programmes directed towards the discovery of natural products with antimicrobial activity against organisms responsible for nosocomial infections. Additional interests in the function of RACK1 as a scaffolding protein, GPCR signalling (free fatty acid receptor 2), RTK signalling (IGF1R), the design and synthesis of functional nitric oxide synthase mimetics and in antiviral medicinal chemistry. Experienced collaborator with academic life science groups working on cellular signalling pathways [Houslay group, Glasgow Univ, exploration of PDE4 structure and function; contributing to MRC/G0400053 (1/10/2006, 48 months, UK£1.9m) & EU FP6/037189 (1/10/2006, 36 months, €3m)] [Milligan group, Glasgow Univ, ligands for FFA2; contributing to Wellcome Trust 089600/Z/09/Z (2010, 36 months, UK£231k)]. A major current focus is on the role of RACK1 in IGF-I/adhesion-mediated signalling relevant to regulation of cytoskeleton and cell motility (analysis of interactions with partner proteins – actin, myosin, PKC, FAK etc) collaborations with (O’Connor gp, Cork;  Kiely group, Limerick;  Long gp, Trinity College Dublin;  Ron gp, UCSF).

Research interests

biological chemistry

medicinal chemistry

GPCR signalling

RTK signalling

cyclic nucleotide signalling


RACK1 scaffolding protein



nitric oxide synthase

antiviral medicinal chemistry


natural products


  • QD Chemistry

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Research Output

Structure-function analysis of lipid substrates and inhibitors of sphingosine kinases

Adams, D. R., Pyne, S. & Pyne, N. J., 7 Oct 2020, In : Cellular Signalling. 76, 109806.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Small-molecule allosteric activators of PDE4 long form cyclic AMP phosphodiesterases

    Omar, F., Findlay, J. E., Carfray, G., Allcock, R. W., Jiang, Z., Moore, C., Muir, A. L., Lannoy, M., Fertig, B. A., Mai, D., Day, J. P., Bolger, G., Baillie, G. S., Schwiebert, E., Klussmann, E., Pyne, N. J., Ong, A. C. M., Bowers, K., Adam, J. M., Adams, D. R. & 2 others, Houslay, M. D. & Henderson, D. J. P., 2 Jul 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 27, p. 13320-13329 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 14 Citations (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)

    Topographical mapping of isoform-selectivity determinants for J-channel-binding inhibitors of sphingosine kinases 1 and 2

    Adams, D. R., Tawati, S., Berretta, G., Lopez Rivas, P., Baiget, J., Jiang, Z., Alsfouk, A., Mackay, S. P., Pyne, N. & Pyne, S., 11 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 62, 7, p. 3658-3676 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Compounds and their use as PDE4 activators

    Adam, J. M. & Adams, D. R., 5 Apr 2018, IPC No. A61K31/4196, A61P1/00, A61P11/00, A61P13/00, A61P35/00, A61P5/00, A61P9/00, C07D249/08, C07D403/12, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Patent No. WO2018060704(A1), Priority date 28 Sep 2016, Priority No. GB20160016439 20160928

    Research output: Patent

    Open Access
  • 20 Downloads (Pure)

    Sphingosine 1-phosphate and cancer

    Pyne, N. J., El Buri, A., Adams, D. R. & Pyne, S., May 2018, In : Advances in Biological Regulation. 68, p. 97-106 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 26 Citations (Scopus)


    Mironid Limited: Head of Research Chemistry

    David Roger Adams (Recipient)

    29 Apr 2014 → …

    Activity: Other

    Mironid Limited: Cofounder

    David Roger Adams (Recipient)

    29 Apr 2014

    Activity: Other