Mark did his first degree in Chemistry at Leicester University in 1992, where he spent his industrial placement year at Merck, Sharpe & Dohme as a medicinal chemist. After qualifying with a first class honours degree, he started working on the development of optical brightening agents at Hickson & Welch fine chemicals in 1996. Mark began his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Leeds in 1997, where he worked on tandem palladium catalysed-cycloaddition reactions. His PhD was sponsored by Zeneca agrochemicals, and he spent a short period of time at their research centre, Jealott’s Hill. After successfully completing his PhD in 2000, he relocated to Austin, Texas to take up a position at the University of Texas as a postdoctoral research associate. In Austin, he focused on the total synthesis of a natural product. In 2002, he took up a position at AstraZeneca in the Process, Research and Development department in Macclesfield. Since then, he has worked on many projects across the different phases of clinical development and also spent 18 months on secondment in Analytical Science. Recently, he led the development of the DS area of the MEK inhibitor project.