Phil did his PhD and a brief post doc in signal transduction mechanisms in CNS at the University of Nottingham in the UK. In 2004 he joined the Duman/Nestler lab at Yale investigating the molecular regulation of CRF receptors and, exploring the role the receptor plays in withdrawal from drugs of abuse. He joined Pfizer in 1997 as lab head where he initiated and eventually led a CB1 antagonist program for the treatment of addiction (primarily alcohol) in collaboration with the Obesity group. This program resulted in 4 clinic candidates, the most advanced of which entered phase 3. The team also generated data which supported an interest in cognition enhancement as a possible additional indication (with the potential for treatment of symptoms both in AD and schizophrenia). Following on from the CB1 cognition work he moved more in depth towards the psychosis disease space serving as the Research Portfolio Lead on a 5HT2C agonist program which also generated a clinical candidate. Phil joined the CNS management team in 2004 and subsequently became chair of the Schizophrenia Disease Focus team and served as biology contact on the Development Team. In 2007 he became the head of the neuroscience Best In Class Unit which served programs across both neurology and psychiatry followed by an appointment as head of the neurology group with a major focus on programs in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
In 2011 he took on a new role as Head of Neuro Opportunities leading the strategy for external collaborations, in licensing and portfolio partnering. The group was subsequently expanded in 2013 and became Business Research, with a new remit that included all of the budget and fiscal oversight for the Neuroscience and Pain research unit as well as the goal of executing on and building an external portfolio. In 2015 Phil became the head of Business Research for Biotherapeutics which added additional partner line and therapeutic area operational oversight as well as Kendall Sqauare, MA site responsibilities. In 2016, when WRD was reorganized, the next chapter involved a return to Phil’s passion of leading programs within the Neuroscience portfolio, as Head of Circuits, Neuro-Opportunities & Science Technologies.