Dr Geoff Coxon

Research interests

Dr Geoff Coxon obtained out his PhD research under the supervision of Prof David Minnikin at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1999. The research was carried out in close collaboration with Prof Patrick Brennan and then, Dr Gurdyal Besra, involving the inhibition of mycolic acid biosynthesis. Post-dosctoral work was carried out in this field before entering project management with Procter & Gamble both in the UK and US. Returning to Newcastle University, further post-dosctoral research was undertaken with Profs Minnikin and Besra before moving to the University of Strathclyde. After working initially at the Dept of Pure & Applied Chemistry, working with Prof David Sherrington, Dr Coxon moved to the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. In this role he designed and optimised compounds for the treatment of obesity, both in vitro and in vivo, which are now subject to licensing discussions with industry to further develop these towards the clinic.


In December 2004 Dr Coxon was appointed lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry SIPBS where he began establishing his research group focused on anti TB drug discovery. This work has been based on the inhibition of mycolic acid biosynthesis and has included the development of isoxyl, thiacetazone and recently, in a program to find mimics of thiolactomycin (TLM), has culminated in the discovery of the 2-aminothiazolecarboxylate scaffold as a new class of anti TB agent. These efforts have been in close collaboration with Prof Gurdyal Besra (Birmingham), Prof Stephen Gillespie and Dr Tim McHugh (UCL) and his research collaborators at SIPBS (Prof Simon Mackay, Dr Blair Johnston, Dr Nahoum Anthony, Dr Paul Hoskisson, Dr Paul Herron and Dr Veronique Seidel) as well as Prof Alan Harvey, and partners, from Strathclyde Innovations in Drug Research.


During 2007 Dr Coxon and colleagues embarked on the establishment of a UK consortium to bring together scientists involved in TB drug discovery. Following his discussions with local MP the Rt Hon Des Browne and correspondence with government ministers and advisors to foster such program, a year later, TBD-UK was established and subsequent funding obtained from the MRC to develop the program and consolidate UK research. As part of TBD-UK, Dr Coxon has taken ownership and development of www.TBD-UK.org.uk and as deputy leader and director of medicinal chemistry is committed to the discovery of new TB drugs.

Personal Website





1.International Development Committee-Fourteenth Report. Department for International development Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2010-11 and Business Plan 2011-15. Geoff Coxon, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmintdev/1569/1569vw03.htm, 2012.


2. Coxon Geoffrey D., Cooper Christoper B., Gillespie Stephen H., McHugh Timothy D. Strategies and challenges involved in the discovry of new chemical entities during early-stage tuberculosis drug discovery. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2012; doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis191


3.Giacomo Berretta, Geoffrey D. Coxon, Synthesis of cis,cis-diunsaturated ?-meromycolic acid by a palladium-catalysed alkyl–alkyl Negishi reaction, Tet. Lett, 53, 2012, 214-216


4.Lynn G. Dover and Geoffrey D. Coxon. Currrent Status and Research Strategies in Tuberculosis Drug Development; J. Med. Chem., 2011, 54 (18), 6157–6165


5.Geoffrey D. Coxon and Stephen H. Gillespie. TB- Strength in numbers. Microbiology Today, Feburary 2010


6. Coxon, G, R.D. Waith, B. F. Furman, A.Harvey PCT/GB2009/000064 Weight Reducing Compounds (Tech1660), Patent Application, (2009).


7. Al-Balas Q, Anthony NG, Al-Jaidi B, Alnimr A, Abbott G, Brown AK, Taylor RC, Besra GS, McHugh TD, Gillespie SH, Johnston BF, Mackay SP, Coxon GD. Identification of 2-aminothiazole-4-carboxylate derivatives active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and the beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase mtFabH. PLoS One. 2009;4(5):e5617.

8. Coxon GD, Furman BL, Harvey AL, McTavish J, Mooney MH, Arastoo M, Kennedy AR, Tettey JM, Waigh RD. Benzylguanidines and other galegine analogues inducing weight loss in mice. J Med Chem. 2009 Jun 11;52(11):3457-63.

9. Mooney MH, Fogarty S, Stevenson C, Gallagher AM, Palit P, Hawley SA, Hardie DG, Coxon GD, Waigh RD, Tate RJ, Harvey AL, Furman BL. Mechanisms underlying the metabolic actions of galegine that contribute to weight loss in mice. Brit J Pharmacol. 2008 Apr;153(8):1669-77.

10. Alahari A, Trivelli X, Guerardel Y, Dover LG, Besra GS, Sacchettini JC, Reynolds RC, Coxon GD, Kremer L. Thiacetazone, an antitubercular drug that inhibits cyclopropanation of cell wall mycolic acids in mycobacteria. PLoS One. 2007;2(12):e1343.

11. Clark RL, Carter KC, Mullen AB, Coxon GD, Owusu-Dapaah G, McFarlane E, Duong Thi MD, Grant MH, Tettey JN, Mackay SP. Identification of the benzodiazepines as a new class of antileishmanial agent. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2007 Feb 1;17(3):624-7.

12. Bhowruth V, Brown AK, Reynolds RC, Coxon GD, Mackay SP, Minnikin DE, Besra GS. Symmetrical and unsymmetrical analogues of isoxyl; active agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2006 Sep 15;16(18):4743-7.

13. Coxon GD, Al Dulayymi JR, Morehouse C, Brennan PJ, Besra GS, Baird MS, Minnikin DE. Synthesis and properties of methyl 5-(1 R,2 S)-(2-octadecylcycloprop-1-yl)pentanoate and other omega-19 chiral cyclopropane fatty acids and esters related to mycobacterial mycolic acids. Chem Phys Lipids. 2004 Jan;127(1):35-46.

14. Coxon GD, Al-Dulayymi JR, Baird MS, Knobl S, Roberts E, Minnikin DE. The synthesis of (11R,12S)-lactobacillic acid and its enantiomer. Tetrahedron-Asymmetr. 2003 May 2;14(9):1211-22.

15. Coxon GD, Douglas JD, Minnikin DE. Facile synthesis of (Z)-tetracos-5-enoic acid and racemic cis-4-(2-octadecylcyclopropane-1-yl)-butanoic acid. Chem Phys Lipids. 2003 Nov;126(1):49-53.

16. Coxon GD, Knobl S, Roberts E, Baird MS, Al Dulayymi JR, Besra GS, Brennan PJ, Minnikin DE. The synthesis of both enantiomers of lactobacillic acid and mycolic acid analogues. Tetrahedron Lett. 1999 Sep 3;40(36):6689-92.