Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases.
To contact Derek email him directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Several readers sent along a link to this Radio 4 program ("The End of Drug Disocvery") from the BBC on drug discovery. From what I've heard, it's a very good overview of the current state of the field for people outside it, and gets across just how difficult it's been to find good drug candidates.