Graeme Freestone hails from Tadley, a small town in the English countryside 80 kilometers west of London. His father, a nuclear chemist, worked in the neighboring town of Aldermaston, known as Britain’s Los Alamos because its where the UK designed and maintained nuclear warheads during the Cold War and, in peacetime, manages nuclear waste. Not only is Graeme from a science town he has science in his blood; one uncle is a chemical engineer and the another is a professor of environmental chemistry. With that background, it’s not surprising that he pursued a chemistry degree at the University of Manchester, followed by a Ph.D. at the University of Oxford. Across the pond in the lab of professor K.C. Nicolaou at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, Graeme’s post-doctoral work focused on the total synthesis of complex natural products. At Ionis, his research focuses on improving the therapeutic profile of antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides to develop therapies to treat cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases. But chemistry isn’t the only thing Graeme does. When he’s not in the lab, he’s training for and competing in Ironman triathlons and ultramarathons.
So, what is “innovation” to Dr. Graeme Freestone?
“Creating something new, whether that’s new research, new projects or new ideas and putting them in to action.”