Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (PALS)
Donald Cairns obtained his Pharmacy degree and PhD from the University of Strathclyde. Following a year as a post-doctoral research fellow with the Cancer Research Campaign, Donald moved to Leicester Polytechnic where he held a five-year lectureship in pharmacy. In 1992 Donald was appointed senior lecturer in medicinal chemistry in Sunderland School of Pharmacy and in 2003 moved to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen as Associate Head. In 2006, he was promoted to Professor of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, in 2010 he was appointed Acting Head of School and in 2012 he was appointed to his present post of Head of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.
Donald’s research interests include the design and synthesis of selective anticancer agents, the molecular modelling of drug / DNA interactions and the design of prodrugs for the treatment of nephropathic cystinosis. Donald is also a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and in 2008 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
In 2006 he was appointed to the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and serves on an Expert Advisory Group of the Commission on Human Medicines.