Our Experts

RenaSci is led by its three Executive Directors, Sharon Cheetham, Rob Jones and David Heal, who were previously senior managers at BASF Pharma (formerly Boots Pharmaceuticals) in Nottingham and have 20-25 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. RenaSci’s Directors have successfully taken drugs for metabolic and CNS disorders from the bench to the clinic and into the market.

Sharon Cheetham, Executive Director

Sharon manages our experimental services. Between 1997 and 2001, she was Section Leader in Obesity Research at BASF Pharma with responsibility for all CNS-based projects. While at BASF Pharma she assisted with the global registration of the antiobesity agent, sibutramine. Between 1993 and 1997, Sharon was responsible for research projects in the therapeutic areas of depression and Parkinson’s Disease at BASF Pharma/Boots Pharmaceuticals. Sharon holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of London and an MSc in Toxicology from the University of Birmingham and is Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham. Sharon has over 60 scientific publications.

Rob Jones, Executive Director and Company Secretary

Before helping to establish the company in 2001, Rob was Section Leader in Obesity Research at BASF Pharma, Nottingham with responsibility for peripherally-acting antiobesity agents and for collaborative antiobesity research projects. Between 1982 and 1995, Rob was Section Leader/Team Leader of antidiabetic and ischaemic heart disease projects at Boots Pharmaceuticals. Rob holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the Univeristy of Wales, Cardiff and a MBA in Financial Studies from the University of Nottingham. He has over 50 scientific publications.

David Heal, Executive Director

David is responsible for the consultancy and drug abuse liability testing services provided by RenaSci. Between 1997 and 2001 he was Head of Biology at BASF Pharma with global responsibility for Obesity Research. Between 1986 and 1997, David held the positions of Head of CNS Biology at BASF Pharma, Nottingham, and Section Leader, CNS Pharmacology, at Boots Pharmaceuticals where he directed research into the discovery of novel drugs for the treatment of a wide range of CNS disorders. During his career, he has had key roles in the successful US and European registration of 6 CNS drugs in the indications of obesity, schizophrenia, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He has had extensive interactions with the EMA, FDA and many other regulatory agencies, including Japan. David was awarded a DSc in Pharmacology by King’s College, University of London, in 1998 and also holds a PhD in Biochemistry and a MSc in Analytical Chemistry from Chelsea College, London. He is Visiting Professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath and currently has a joint PhD student with Professor Sue Wonnacott and Dr Chris Bailey (University of Bath). He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London. His publication record consists of over 130 papers and 40 patents. In 2014, David was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemists (FRSC) in acknowledgment of his contributions to pharmacology and drug development.  

Steve Vickers, SVP, Pharmacology

Steve has been actively engaged in neuropharmacological research for over 15 years. He joined RenaSci in 2004 and is now deputy of our experimental services section. Between 1997 and 2004, he held Scientist/Senior Scientist positions at Vernalis Research plc (formerly Cerebrus), Reading, where he led groups working on the development of novel treatments for obesity and diabetes and was responsible for establishing and validating numerous behavioural models. Steve was awarded a PhD from the University of Sussex in 1996. Steve has over 25 scientific publications.