In 2006 Dr. Dillon joined IDEAYA Biosciences as Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery, and has served as Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research since February 2018. From 2008 to 2016, Dr. Dillon was with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) where he served in various leadership roles, including Global Discovery Chemistry Head, Oncology and New Therapeutic Modalities in Cambridge MA and Head of Chemical Sciences and Executive Director Oncology Chemistry in Emeryville CA. Under his leadership at NIBR, several small molecules were advanced towards the clinic, including, PI3K inhibitor BKM120, CSF1R inhibitor BLZ945, V600E mutant B-RAF kinase inhibitor encorafenib, PIM kinase inhibitor PIM447, ERK inhibitor LTT462, and RAF kinase inhibitor LXH254. From 1993 to 2008, Dr. Dillon worked at Roche and Syntex (acquired by Roche), where he led multiple small molecule programs that advanced to the clinic, including first-in-class P2X3 antagonist gefapixant, now being developed by Merck. Dr. Dillon is an author on over 60 publications and patents.
Dr. Dillon obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Leicester, and his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol studying the biosynthesis and total synthesis of natural products. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Oregon State University with Professor James D. White where he completed the first total synthesis of byssochlamic acid.