Laurence is a graduate of Hatfield Polytechnic, UK (BSc, Hons, Applied Biology) undertaking an industrial year in the Dept. of Biochemical Engineering, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, Oxon and obtained his PhD from the University of London (Chelsea Dept of Pharmacy) working with John Gorrod on the synthesis and metabolism of arylamines.
Laurence spent several years in the pharma industry as a senior scientist in R&D with Fisons Pharma (now AstraZeneca). He has subsequently held several academic positions at DeMontfort University, progressing to Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry before being appointed Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry at The School of Pharmacy, University of London (now UCL School of Pharmacy). Laurence is currently Professor of Drug Discovery and Director of the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Bradford, where he oversees facilities for synthetic and medicinal chemistry, compound analysis, in vitro pharmacology, DMPK, in vivo pharmacology and tumour biology. The ICT houses the clinical laboratory for the Leeds-Bradford Experimental Cancer Medicines Centres (ECMC), funded by NIHR/CRUK. It additionally houses a licenced research tissue bank, Ethical Tissue and ICT Biosciences, the commercial arm of the ICT’s research activities.
Laurence has published over 100 papers and patents concerned with the discovery and development of new drugs and is a founding shareholder of Incanthera Ltd. He is also founding (and non-executive) director of Biostatus Ltd. He was elected an honorary member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2007, and a visiting Professor of Drug Discovery to the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing in 2008 and to SouthWestern University, Chongqing in 2011 working with Prof Hongjuan Cui. He also has close research links with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica.