David Drewry, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor

David Drewry, Ph.D., is a renowned leader in the medicinal chemistry of protein kinases and is one of the principal architects of the research strategy at the SGC-UNC to build an open and collaborative research network to promote target discovery. He previously enjoyed more than 24 years as a medicinal chemist with GlaxoSmithKline and legacy companies, where he led teams working across the preclinical spectrum of drug discovery. His research interests include the art and science of medicinal chemistry, kinase inhibitor design, utilization of annotated sets of kinase inhibitors to build understanding of signaling networks and precompetitive chemical biology to facilitate target identification. After earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree, cum laude, in chemistry from Yale University, Drewry earned his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in the laboratory of Paul Bartlett, working on the design, synthesis and mechanistic studies of zinc protease inhibitors. Drewry spent one year as the head of chemistry at Meryx Pharmaceuticals, a biotech startup focused on small-molecule inhibitors of Mer kinase that was a spinoff from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.


  • Al-Ali, H.; Lee, D.H.; Nassif, H.; Gautam, P.; Wennerberg, K.; Zuercher, B.; Drewry, D.H.; Lee, J.K.; Lemmon, V.P.; Bixby, J.L. “Rational Polypharmacology: Systematically Identifying and Engaging Multiple Drug Targets to Promote Axon Growth” ACS Chemical Biology 2015, 21, 1939-1951.
  • Pena, I.; Pilar Manzano, M.; Cantizani, J.; Kessler, A.; Alonso-Padilla, J.; Bardera, A.I.; Alvarez, E.; Colmenarejo, G.; Cotillo, I.; Roquero, I.; de Dios-Anton, F.; Barroso, V.; Rodriquez, A.; Gray, D.W.; Navarro, M.; Kumar, V.; Sherstnev, A.; Drewry, D.H.; Brown, J.R.; Fiandor, J.M.; Martin, Julio J. “New compound sets identified from high throughput screening against three kinetoplastid parasites: an open resource” Sci. Rep. 2015, 5, 8771.
  • Theodoulou, N.H.; Bamborough, P.; Bannister, A.J.; Becher, I.; Bit, R.A.; Che, K.H.; Chung, C-W.; Dittmann, A.; Drewes, G.; Drewry, D.H.; Gordon, L.; Grandi, P.; Leveridge, M.; Lindon, M.; Michon, A-M.; Molnar, J.; Robson, S.C.; Tomkinson, N.C.O.; Kouzarides, T.; Prinjha, R.K.; Humphreys, P.G. “Discovery of I-BRD9, a Selective Cell Active Chemical Probe for Bromdomain Containing Protein 9 Inhibition” J. Med. Chem. 2015, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00256
  • Chen, P.; Chaikuad, A.; Bamborough, P.; Bantscheff, M.; Bountra, C.; Chung, C-w.; Fedorov, O.; Grandi, P.; Jung, D.; Lesniak, R.; Lindon, M.; Muller, S.; Philpott, M.; Prinjha, R.; Rogers, C.; Selenski, C.; Tallant, C.; Werner, T.; Willson, T.; Knapp, S.; Drewry, D.H. “Discovery and Characterization of GSK2801, a Selective Chemical Probe for the Bromodomains BAZ2A and BAZ2B” J. Med. Chem. 2015, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00209
  • Drewry, D.H.; Willson, T.M.; Zuercher, W.J. “Seeding collaborations to advance kinases science with the GSK Published Kinase Inhibitor Set (PKIS)” Curr. Topics Med. Chem. 2014, 14, 340-342.
  • Dranchak, P.; MacArthur, R.; Guha, R.; Zuercher, W.J.; Drewry, D.H.; Auld, D.S.; Inglese, J. “Profile of the GSK published kinase inhibitor set across ATP-dependent and –independent luciferases: implications for reporter-gene assays” PLoS One, 2013, 8, e57888.
  • Knapp, S.; Arruda, P.; Blagg, J.; Burley, S.; Drewry, D.H.; Edwards, A.; Fabbro, D.; Gillespie, P.; Gray, N.; Kuster, B.; Lackey, K.E.; Mazzafera, P.; Tomkinson, N.C.; Willson, T.M.; Workman, P.; Zuercher, W.J. “A public-private partnership to unlock the untargeted kinome” Nat. Chem. Biol. 2013, 9, 3-6.
  • Lucet, I.S.; Tobin, A.; Drewry, D.; Wilks, A.F.; Doerig, C. “Plasmodium kinases as targets for new-generation antimalarials” Future Med. Chem. 2013, 4, 2295-2310.
  • Helan, V.; Mills, A.; Drewry, D.; Grant, D. “A Rapid Three-Component MgI2 Mediated Synthesis of 3,3-Pyrrolidinyl Spirooxindoles” J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 6693-6695.
  • Drewry, D.H.; Macarron, R. “Enhancements of screening collections to address areas of unmet medical need: an industry perspective” Curr. Opinion in Chem Biol. 2010, 14, 289-298.
  • Adams, N.D.; Adams, J.L.; Burgess, J.L.; Chaudhari, A.M.; Copeland, R.A.; Donatelli, C.A.; Drewry, D.H.; Fisher, K.E.; Hamajima, T.; Hardwicke, MA.; Huffman, W.F.; Koretke-Brown, K.K.; Lai, Z.V.; McDonald, O.B.; Nakamura, H,; Newlander, K.A.; Oleykowski, C.A.; Parrish, C.A.; Patrick, D.R.; Plant, R.; Sarpong, M.A.; Sasake, K.; Schmidt, S.J.; Silva, D.J.; Sutton, D.; Tang, J.; Thompson, C.S.; Tummino. P.J.; Wang, J.C.; Xiang, H.; Yang, J.; Dhanak, D. “Discovery of GSK1070916, a Potent and Selective Inhibitor of Aurora B/C Kinase” J. Med. Chem. 2010, 53, 3973-4001.
  • Emmitte, K.A.: Andrews, C.W.; Badiang, J.G.; Davis-Ward, R.G.; Dickson, H.D.; Drewry, D.H.; Emerson, H.K.; Epperly, A.H.; Hassler, D.F.; Knick, V.B.; Kuntz, K.W.; Lansing, T.J.; Linn, J.A.; Mook, R.A. Jr.; Nailor, K.E.; Salovich, J.M.; Spehar, G.M.; Cheung, M. “Discovery of thiophene inhibitors of polo-like kinase” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2009, 19, 1018-1021.
  • Bamborough, P.; Drewry, D.; Harper, G.; Smith, G.K.; Schneider, K. “Assessment of Chemical Coverage of Kinome Space and its Implications for Kinase Drug Discovery” J. Med. Chem. 2008, 51, 7898-7914.
  • Deanda, F.; Stewart, E.L.; Reno, M.J.; Drewry, D.H. “Kinase-Targeted Library Design through the Application of the PharmPrint Methodology” J. Chem Inf. and Model. 2008, 48, 2395-2403.

Select Book Chapters

  • Brown, J. R., Drewry, D., Gamo, F.-J. and Garcia-Bustos, J. F. (2013) “Kinase Inhibitors Among Hits from Malaria Cellular Screens”, in Protein Phosphorylation in Parasites Novel Targets for Antiparasitic Intervention (eds C. Doerig, G. Späth and M. Wiese), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. DOI: 10.1002/9783527675401. Chapter 13. ISBN-13: 978-3527332359.
  • Drewry, D.H.; Bamborough, P.; Schneider, K.; Smith, G.K. (2011) “The Kinome and its Impact on Medicinal Chemistry”, in Kinase Drug Discovery (eds R.A. Ward and F. Goldberg), RSC Publishing, DOI:10.1039/9781849733557. Chapter 1. Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-174-4, PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-355-7.
  • Adams, J.L.; Bamborough, P.; Drewry, D.H.; Shewchuk, L. (2009) “Strategies for Discovering Kinase Drugs”, in Gene Family Targeted Molecular Design (ed K. Lackey). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ, USA, DOI: 10.1002/9780470423936. Chapter 5. ISBN: 978-0-470-41289-3.