After undergraduate and doctoral education at the University of Manchester, Peter Johnson joined the synthetic chemistry group of Professor A. Eschenmoser at the ETH in Zurich. Later he joined E J Corey’s LHASA project at Harvard University. In 1980 Peter joined the University of Leeds, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Chemistry.
Chemoinformatics research in Leeds led to the development of a number of chemistry-based software applications: SPROUT for de-novo ligand design, CAESA for assessment of synthetic feasibility, CLiDE for extraction of chemical information from images, and most recently Chem21 ELN. In addition to his research in chemoinformatics, he also led a synthesis group which accomplished the total synthesis of a number of natural products including the sesquiterpene b-Vetivone and the first synthesis of the alkaloid Gelsemine. Peter has also founded a number of software companies, some of which were spinoffs of the University research, including LHASA Ltd., Orac, Synopsys, Simbiosys and Keymodule.