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Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery

Published: 28 Feb 2021 in Prizes and awards

This award recognises the achievements of pharmacologists who have discovered a new drug or a new use for an existing drug. The winner will receive £2,000.

Applications will open in January 2021.


The panel will assess the contribution of the applicant(s) to the discovery and/or development of the drug.


  • Individuals or teams of up to five people are eligible to apply; the lead applicant will ​have a been a member for a least two years
  • Applications will be considered where a completely new drug has been introduced to market, or original research has led to a new application of an existing drug
  • There is no time limit in relation to the discovery, and it is expected that many awards will be retrospective
  • The Society is committed to increasing the diversity of its award recipients. Excellent candidates are encouraged to apply, especially those from under-represented groups


Upload a PDF with a concise statement (maximum of two pages) explaining the contributions of the individual or team to the discovery and/or development of the drug.


Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery

This award is named in honour of James Whyte Black who discovered two ‘first-in-class’ medicines: the first beta-blocker and the first selective histamine H2 antagonist for the treatment of stomach ulcers

Recent winners

  • 2019 – Gary Stephens, Claire Williams and Ben Whalley
  • 2018 – Pancras Wong, Robert Knabb, Donglu Zhang, Mimi Quan and Donald Pinto
  • 2017 – Naj Sharif, John Yanni, Shouxi Xu and Steven Miller
  • 2016 – Sir Gordon Duff, Francesco di Giovine and George Nuki
  • 2015 – Craig Jordan
  • 2014 – Gareth Sanger