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GSK hires computational drug design expert Dr Kim Branson as new head of machine learning and AI

Published on: 10/07/19

British multinational GlaxoSmithKline have hired computational drug design expert Dr Kim Branson as the company’s new Senior Vice President, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

In his new role, the biotech veteran will oversee projects which use AI to identify novel targets for potential medicines.

Dr Branson brings to the role more than 15 years’ worth of experience in biotech and academia having held positions at a number of Silicon Valley firms including Gliimpse, Lumia and Hessian Informatics.

Having graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide in 1999, Dr Branson completed a PhD in Computational Drug Design at the University of Melbourne in 2003.

Following graduation Dr Branson took on a role at the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) organisation before moving to Stanford University to do postdoctoral research.

From Stanford Dr Branson joined Vertex before establishing a career in data science and computational drug design at various California biotech firms. Now, Dr Branson will join fellow Genentech exec Hal Barron in making the move to GSK.

The hire comes as GSK CEO Emma Walmsley sets out to transform the firm by focusing on the potential new technologies hold in speeding up the discovery and development of new drugs.

“The most impactful way any company will change its performance is making the timelines shorter, the costs lower and the probability of success higher,” Walmsley said in an interview with Bloomberg.

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