Dr Neil Thompson

Neil Thompson.jpgNeil Thompson was the beloved husband of Louise, and loving father of George & Will, now in their thirties. 

He was born Sunderland in 1960. Neil studied biochemistry at York University, and received a PhD from King’s College, London. His career in drug discovery spanned nearly 40 years. He worked at Wellcome, GSK, Astex Pharmaceuticals and Healx and collaborated with several other pharmaceutical companies. 

Working with teams across a variety of therapeutic areas, including inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular systems and neurology, he helped to develop   more than ten drugs which have been successfully used with patients, including at Astex three new cancer drugs that have gained market approval in the last few years.

Neil enjoyed walking, cycling, beer and movies about time travel, not necessarily in that order.

In the UK, someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes and your donation to Cancer Research UK, in memory of Neil, will make a real difference to those affected by cancer, now and in the future.

Charity details

Cancer Research Uk

Cancer Research fund scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner. They also provide cancer information to the public.

Registered Number 1089464

Messages of condolence

Dear Louise and family, So sorry to hear of Neil's passing. Our families have shared a similar path through life and we are sending our love to you all at this sad time. xx

Mr & Mrs Barrie & Debbie Prentice

Neil was a kind and generous man and a fine scientist. He is greatly missed.

Dr Nicholas Rapson

Dear Louise, George and Will, It was deep sadness and shock to hear the news about Neil. He was a highly respected scientist and work colleague and was always supportive of helping people around him. He had a great sense of gentle humour., and numerous achievements in both his career and personal life He will be greatly missed by all. I offer my sincere condolences.

Dr Sara Brett

I worked with Neil for many years and I always appreciated his kindness , his scientific knowledge , his intellectual interests beyond science and how welcoming he was when I was traveling to Cambridge from California. An excellent colleague and one of the key players in the Astex team! He has gone too soon and I would like to send my condolences to his wife and sons . Pietro

Mr Pietro Taverna

From all Neil's friends and colleagues at Astex.

Astex Pharmaceuticals

Neil was an inspiration. Generous, wise and so very kind. We celebrate im and send our love. From all at Healx xx


I’m very sorry for your loss. Neil was my manager for 3 years at Healx and he was the best mentor and leader that you could wish for. He was a brilliant scientist and a lovely person who was so generous with his time for everyone. We will miss him greatly but his strong legacy will live on.

Dr Jane Brennan

I feel incredibly privileged to have worked with Neil during his time at Healx. He was a great mentor and true leader, showing everyone respect and ensuring everyone on the team had a voice and was heard. I will miss him greatly. My heartfelt condolences to Louise, George, Will and family.

Dr Emma Davies

Louise, George & Will, we were deeply saddened and shocked by the terrible news of your loss. We hope you will find comfort in the shared memories and they will may bring you peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you find your way through this difficult journey. Please accept our heartfelt condolences at this time.

Mr & Mrs Richard & Veronica Brain

Neil is the person I absolutely loved talking science to. Neil was an amazing mentor, who listened, shared his wisdom and experience unconditionally, and created space for others to grow and develop. Neil taught me lots, and since he left Healx I often ask myself a question 'What would Neil do?' when faced with a scientific dilemma. I feel very lucky to having worked under his leadership, and having him as a mentor. I am so sorry for your loss, Louise, George and Will. Neil will be missed by us all.

Dr Svetlana Saveljeva

Very sorry for your loss. Take care. Was a real pleasure to have worked and spent time with Neil. I remember him with a lot of fondness -- particularly his cheeky smile/infectious laugh and kindness.

Mr Robin Carr

Such a lovely person, Neil made a strong impression on me when I joined Astex. Always calm, and ready to provide advice and wisdom. Warned me "there's no hills, but the Fens wind will get you" on the bike! Condolences to the family.

Mr Mark Wade

I knew Neil through working with him at Healx. A truly amazing man and talent. So sorry to hear of his passing.

Mr Trevor Bennington

So sorry to hear about the loss of Neil. He was a fantastic scientist and mentor. He was really supportive (and challenging in the right way) to me and many others at Astex. I really enjoyed my time both working and cycling with him. Best regards, Andrew.

Mr Andrew Woodhead

Dear Louise, Will and George, I am so very sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of working under Neil's leadership at Healx for a couple of years. I truly admired his intelligence, kindness and calmness. He will be forever remembered.

Dr Meera Raja

Neil was a great sceintist and leader but also a loyal and generous colleague while at Astex. We will miss him and our thoughts are with his family and friends

Dr Chris Murray

I had the privilege of working with Neil at Astex. He was an insightful scientist and a kind, thoughtful mentor whom I looked up to. Neil, thank you so much for your support over the years. Interesting science, interesting questions, interesting data- I will miss you greatly. To Neil’s family, please accept my deepest condolences.

. Maria Ahn

We are so sorry, Neil was a lovely, caring man

Mrs Norma and Alan Wilson

So sorry, Thinking of you all Xxx

Mrs Mandy Dodds

Dear Louise, George and Will. I am so very sorry for your loss. Neil had a huge and lasting impact on me personally through my work at Healx. He believed in me even when I doubted myself and his encouragement and support have shaped my professional growth; for that I will be forever thankful. I offer my condolences and wish you courage during this difficult time.

Dr Richard Gibson

We are so sorry for your loss, thinking of you on this sad day. Love from Chris, Sheryl, Olivia ,Stephen & Toby xx

Mr Chris Wilson

I had the pleasure of working under Neil’s leadership at Astex for many years. Neil, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful guidance- always given with kindness and positivity, and a dash of humour. We will miss you. My sincere condolences to Neil’s family, friends and colleagues.

Ms Caroline Richardson

Go in peace, Neil.

Dr Dirk Gewert

Dear Louise, George and Will. I write these words with deep sadness and shock at the terrible news of Neil's passing away. I worked with Neil at Healx for a few years. He was a kind, soft-spoken, fiercly intelligent scientist and sensible colleague. Neil had a massive impact on me professionally. He was someone I looked up to and tried to follow his example. I wish and hope you find the courage and strength at this very difficult time. My sincere condolonces and love to you all.

Dr Nancy Campbell

Louise, George and Will, we are so sorry for your loss and we’re shocked to hear the news. We both knew Neil professionally, with Paul working under his leadership at GSK for a time and Nicole serving with him on various MRC panels. We will remember Neil as a great leader, an excellent drug discovery scientist and a warm and lovely person. He will be very much missed.

Dr Nicole & Paul Hamblin

I am so sorry for your loss. I had the privilege of working with Neil at Healx for several years. He set a wonderful example as a highly accomplished scientist and leader who was kind, wise and inspired those around him. Neil was always highly supportive, helping people do the best work they could, I learned a great deal from him. I offer my sincere condolences to all Neil's family.

Mr Richard Smith

I had the privilege of working with Neil at Healx. Neil was a highly knowledgeable biologist and tremendous mentor, extremely kind and giving of his time. He will be missed by us all.

Dr David Bedford

I feel extremely fortunate to have known Neil. He was a particularly thoughtful, enquiring, and supportive colleague. He helped build and shape the Newcastle University/Astex Cancer Drug Discovery Alliance through his enthusiasm and guidance. When Neil left Astex we sought to further gain his wisdom by asking him to be Chair of the Newcastle SAB, and then more recently the Cancer Research Horizons Therapeutic Innovation SAB. A huge thank you Neil. You had such a positive effect on the people you worked with. Your key contributions to the discovery of medicines will continue to enrich the lives of so many. My sincere condolences to Neil’s family.

Dr Stephen Wedge

Neil was both a colleague and a great friend. He was universally liked and respected by all who knew him, and his kindness, sense of humour and straightforward decency always shone through. His loss has come as a huge shock and he will be greatly missed.

Dr John Tite

In memory of Neil. Dear Louise, George & Will, my name is Simone Manso and I worked with Neil at Healx. Neil was an amazing, colleague, manager, mentor and scientist, and most importantly an amazing human being. We worked together on a project very close to my hearth as I have a personal connection with it, and Neil has been instrumental in advanding the project; now we can hope that this therapy will help many people living with NF1. Neil genuinely cared in making an impact on people in need and continued to help us after he left the Company. The shock and the sadness after hearing the news he passed away made me fully realise how much he was important for me, and I cant imagine what it must be for you all. When the right time comes for you, I would love to tell you more about his impact and legacy from the time we have worked together. My mail is s.manso@yahoo.it My condolences to the entire family, Simone

Mr Simone Manso

In memory of an amazing person. His legacy and impact will live for ever.

Dr Elena Pipi

I have only known and worked with Neil for a few years. During that time I discovered that I am working with a great thoughtdul mind, a very caring soul, and one of the kindest people I have ever known. It is a tremedous shocking loss to all of those who were blessed enough to be his friends. My deepest and sincere condolences to his family and all his ooved ones. Mohammad Azab

Dr Mohammad Azab

I knew Neil from our time on the MRC DPFS panel. My respect for his humanity and scientific insight led to us asking him to sit on our Scientific Advisory Board, a role he played with rigour balanced with humour. The DDU is stronger scientifically and as human beings as a result of our interactions. He will be missed both professionally and personally.

Drug Discovery Unit, Dundee

Neil was a great colleague and a true friend. I will miss him. Neil, thank you for all of our times together. Louise and the Thompson family, please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. Martin Buckland

Dr Martin Buckland

In memory of a dear Brother, Brother in Law, Uncle and Great Uncle You are greatly missed. Peter and Lorraine, Mark, Dan and Matt and their families

Mr & Mrs Peter and Lorraine Thompson

My sincere condolences to Neil’s family. I have fond memories working with Neil at Healx. He was kind, intelligent and had a great sense of humour. Rest in peace.

Mr Luke Harrison

Thanks for all your support Neil in so many ways over so many years. It was a privilege to have worked with you, cycled with you and to have raised a glass with you. Your legacy lives on in the drugs you have discovered.

. David Newell

Service details

Funeral Service

30 May, 2024 10:00

Cam Valley Crematorium, Field Farm Drive, Great Chesterford, CB10 1RP

Field Farm Drive, Great Chesterford, CB10 1RP