Robert Charles Hider (born 1943, London) is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at King’s College London. He is a specialist in therapeutic iron chelators.
After education at Winslade School, Exeter he attended King’s College London as a BSc Chemistry and Physics undergraduate (1961 – 64), and then obtained a Ph.D. there in Synthetic Chemistry (1967).
Hider began a career in biological chemistry in the Endocrinology Department of St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School under the supervision of David London. He studied the influence of insulin on muscle protein synthesis. In 1970 he was appointed as the first lecturer in biological chemistry at Essex University and initiated the biological chemistry degree. During this period his research was directed towards the study of membranes , the mechanisms of penetration of such structures , and their mode of interaction with animal toxins [3,4]. In 1977 he was awarded sabbatical leave and worked with Joe Neilands, in the Department of Biochemistry, the University of California, Berkeley. This laboratory was centered on siderophore chemistry and biochemistry. Siderophore chemistry has been a driving force throughout his career .
On return to the UK, Hider, in collaboration with Ernest Huehns, developed the first orally active iron chelator, deferiprone [6-8], which was introduced into clinical trials by Victor Hoffbrand in 1987 . During this decade he was promoted to senior lecturer and then to reader. Deferiprone is currently used worldwide for the treatment of transfusion-induced iron overload, which is associated with β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia .
In 1987 Hider was appointed Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Pharmacy Department of King’s College London, where he continued his studies on iron biochemistry. Over the period 1987 – 2015, he introduced several analytical methods for “non-transferrin bound iron” [10,11] and has continued to develop new iron chelators [12,13], particularly those targeted to mitochondria [14,15]. He has collaborated with Ciba Geigy (now Novartis), Apotex, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Vifor and Renapharma.
During the 1992 – 2008 period at King’s College he was at various times Head of the Health Science Division (1992 – 1994); Head of the School of Life, Basic Medicinal and Health Sciences (1994 – 2000); Head of Department of Pharmacy (2000 – 2003) and Head of the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences (2003 – 2007). In 2008, he retired from teaching and administration duties but maintains an active research laboratory.
His most cited articles are:
Hider RC, Kong X. Chemistry and biology of siderophores. Natural product reports. 2010;27(5):637-57.
Shayeghi M, Latunde-Dada GO, Oakhill JS, Laftah AH, Takeuchi K, Halliday N, Khan Y, Warley A, McCann FE, Hider RC, Frazer DM. Identification of an intestinal heme transporter. Cell. 2005;122(5):789-801.
Hider RC. Siderophore mediated absorption of iron. In Siderophores from Microorganisms and Plants. 1984 (pp. 25-87). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1987
Science Chairman of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, 1998
Fellow of King’s College London, 1999
Academic Lead of Department of Trade and Industry Delegation visiting China, 2000
Hanbury Memorial Medal, 2014; from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society 
Honorary Professor at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 2015 – present
Paul Ehrlich Award, 2017; from the International Bio-Iron Society 
Honorary Professor at the University of Bath, UK, 2019 – present