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Southern Research Institute Names Blaine Knight Vice President of Drug Discovery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Officials at Southern Research Institute today announced that Wilson Blaine Knight, Ph.D., a former executive with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been named Vice President of its Drug Discovery Division.

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"We are very pleased that Dr. Knight has joined us to lead our very successful drug discovery research program," said John A. "Jack" Secrist, III, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research Institute. "His global pharmaceutical industry experience will be extremely valuable to Southern Research as we expand our service offering to clients worldwide. In addition, Dr. Knight's scientific background is solid, and he has a great appreciation for basic research and how it can be translated into products that prevent and cure diseases."

For the past seven years at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Knight has served in a number of roles including Vice President of Non-Clinical Globalization Projects/Preclinical Development and as the Vice President of Strategic Alliances; Vice President of Screening Sciences; and Vice President of Systems Research in the Discovery Research Directorate. In the latter two roles, he was responsible for leading more than 200 scientific staff members in the US, UK, Spain, Italy and Japan in comprehensive compound profiling and integrated lead discovery strategies. While at Glaxo, Dr. Knight was instrumental in placing several compounds into development, particularly in the oncology therapeutic area.

From 1995 - 2000, Dr. Knight served as Director of Molecular Biochemistry in the Biochemistry Division of Glaxo-Wellcome. He also held several positions with the Glaxo Research Institute/Glaxo, Inc. from 1992-1995, later becoming head of the Dept. of Biochemistry and Protein Engineering in the Division of Molecular Sciences. Prior to joining Glaxo, Dr. Knight held several positions from 1987-1992 at Merck/MSDRL, most recently as the head of the Dept. of Enzymology.

He earned his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and his Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland in College Park. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Dr. Knight holds six patents, has authored or co-authored 53 scientific publications: and, as an invited speaker, has delivered 25 scientific presentations. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Biological Chemists and Molecular Biologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He earned an American Heart Association Fellowship (Maryland Chapter) and a National Research Service Award from the Institute of General Medical Sciences.

About Southern Research Institute

Southern Research is an independent 501(c) 3, not-for-profit center for scientific research. Founded in 1941, Southern Research is known for innovative leadership in preclinical drug discovery and development, environment and energy research, and aerospace and materials engineering. Public and private sector clients include the National Institutes of Health: the U.S. Departments of Justice, Defense, and Energy; the Environmental Protection Agency: and NASA, as well as major private and public companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, energy, manufacturing, and transportation industries. For more information visit


Rhonda Jung

Southern Research, 205-581-2317,

Risa Burgess

Schwartz Communications, 781-684-0770,

SOURCE Southern Research Institute
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