Professor Duncan Richards



Duncan Richards trained in medicine at Oxford University and after junior doctor roles in London, he returned to Oxford as Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology. His DM thesis research was on a translational model using platelet ion flux to interrogate angiotensin biology and he is author of the Oxford Handbook of Practical Drug Therapy.

Duncan joined GSK in 2003 and has worked in a number of clinical development roles from first in human to file and launch. Latterly Duncan was head of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine for GSK Research and Director of GSK’s phase 1 and experimental medicine unit in Cambridge (CUC).

Externally he has been a member of the MRC/NIHR EME Board and serves on several committees of the British Pharmacological Society.

Recently appointment to the newly created Climax Professorship of Clinical Therapeutics, Duncan will establish a new Centre for Clinical Therapeutics based at the Botnar Research Centre and St Hilda’s. The Centre, under his leadership, will work with a diverse range of Oxford biomedical researchers and more widely with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries, in order to drive new drug treatments through decision-making in early phase clinical trials.


My over-arching research interest is in translational clinical research

Within this there are 3 main themes:

  • Mechanistic understanding and interrogation of clinical potential of novel therapeutics
  • Rational drug combinations to enhance therapeutic efficacy
  • Development of human challenge models to interrogate mechanisms of drug action


Richards DB, Cookson LM, Barton SV, Liefaard L, Lane T, Hutt DF, Ritter JM, Fontana M, Moon JC, Gillmore JD, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Pepys MB. Repeat doses of antibody to serum amyloid P component clear amyloid deposits in patients with systemic amyloidosis. Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(422). 

Richards DB, Cookson LM, Berges AC, Barton SV, Lane T, Ritter JM, Fontana M, Moon JC, Pinzani M, Gillmore JD, Hawkins PN, Pepys MB. Therapeutic Clearance of Amyloid by Antibodies to Serum Amyloid P Component. N Engl J Med. 2015 17;373(12):1106-14.

Hegade VS, Kendrick SF, Dobbins RL, Miller SR, Thompson D, Richards D, Storey J, Dukes GE, Corrigan M, Oude Elferink RP, Beuers U, Hirschfield GM, Jones DE. Effect of ileal bile acid transporter inhibitor GSK2330672 on pruritus in primary biliary cholangitis:a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover, phase 2a study. Lancet. 2017;389(10074):1114-1123

Ziauddeen H, Chamberlain SR, Nathan PJ, Koch A, Maltby K, Bush M, Tao WX, Napolitano A, Skeggs AL, Brooke AC, Cheke L, Clayton NS, Sadaf Farooqi I, O'Rahilly S, Waterworth D, Song K, Hosking L, Richards DB, Fletcher PC, Bullmore ET. Effects of the mu-opioid receptor antagonist GSK1521498 on hedonic and consummatory eating behaviour: a proof of mechanism study in binge-eating obese subjects. Mol Psychiatry. 2013;18(12):1287-93.

Singh D, Richards D, Knowles RG, Schwartz S, Woodcock A, Langley S, O'Connor BJ. Selective inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibition has no effect on allergen challenge in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007;176 (10):988-93

Richards D, Coleman J, Reynolds D and Aronson JK, The Oxford Handbook of Practical Drug Therapy Oxford University Press. Second Edition Published 2011 700pp. This book brings together, for the first time, basic pharmacology principles and knowledge of drug action with thorough practical advice on prescribing. It offers a novel approach to the assessment of adverse effects of drugs and to monitoring therapy. First edition translated into Chinese 2009