Ali’s industrial career spans 15 years to date (post completion of the research aspect of his Ph.D). He worked for Glaxo Group Research Ltd, Ware, Herts (’87-’89) before reading pure chemistry at Manchester University.
After completing his degree he worked for Synerga Ltd, Bude, Cornwall in the summer of ’93 specialising in the synthesis of novel chemical entities for screening for herbicidal activity. After a brief spell at Bionet Research Ltd working on remakes for the Bionet database, he undertook his Ph.D research at LJMU in ’94 specialising in a new synthesis and exploration of the chemistry of Trifluoromethylcopper (Ph.D thesis entitled “Some studies on Fluoroalkylation” 1999).
He returned to Cornwall in ’97 and joined Key Organics specialising in the preparation of novel fluorinated chemical entities for HTS programmes as well as custom synthesis projects. In 2000 he joined the chemistry group at the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wilts (now DSTL). In 2001 he joined Evotec OAI, Abingdon, Oxon undertaking FTE project work before moving back to Cornwall in 2002 to work for Maybridge Ltd.
During his five years with the company he undertook FTE project work, HTS chemistry, custom synthesis and finally specialising in the design and synthesis of primarily novel trifluoromethyl-containing heterocyclic intermediates as well as other heterocyclic systems.
Why Darr House?
Darr House is the name of a fictitious country estate in the novel, "Trouble with Lichen" by the famous science fiction author, John Wyndham. The narrative tells of a young and enthusiastic, Diana Brackley who wins a place at the University of Cambridge to study Biochemistry. Whilst there she attends a lecture given by a one time Gilkes Professor of Biochemistry at Cambridge, Francis Saxover.
The lecturer proves inspirational to her and on going down from Cambridge with highest honours she joins the wealthy Saxover (who comes from a successful engineering family in the West Midlands) at his prestigious research institute on the Darr House estate. Whilst there she stumbles on a discovery (previously made by Saxover, who, because of its potential implications does not divulge the information to Diana) of a compound contained in a rare Manchurian lichen, which is able to retard the ageing process by a factor of five. The compound was called Antigerone and its properties had huge implications for the population of Britain at that time.
After I read this book I was so inspired by it that if I was to have my own company one day I would name it after Saxover's research institute, "Darr House" and the "Molecular Innovation" is what we are about.