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Drug Discovery Oxford

Oxford has world class drug discovery capabilities across the Divisions of Medical, Physical and Life Sciences. The aim of this website is to increase the visibility of Oxford as a centre for Drug Discovery and enable public engagement with our science.

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This website is a work in progress and will eventually encompass the full breadth and depth of expertise in drug discovery across the University of Oxford. The Department of Chemistry has taken a proactive role in making this idea a reality, and over time this site will incorporate the many departments that participate in this important process. Please check back soon!

This website showcases the University of Oxford's involvement in drug discovery and provides useful links to our resources in this area. It looks at the wide range of disease areas that our researchers study, provides case studies of exciting new fundamental research, and explains the histories behind our most successful spin-outs. Combined, it tells the story of a university whose skills and facilities play a vital role in designing, developing and refining a potential future drug.

Explore an area of our expertise:

Oxford has all the necessary expertise on site to drive a drug discovery programme from target identification to preclinical candidate selection, and then on through all phases of clinical trials. This draws on key competencies from the Department of Chemistry, including a strong, broad-based and vigorous synthetic chemistry community with expertise in natural product synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and high-speed parallel assay synthesis, in silico modelling, screening and informatics, molecular imaging, radiochemistry, peptide and protein chemistry, carbohydrate chemistry, molecular biology, enzymology and proteomics. Assay development and screening is carried out in close collaboration with biology groups in Oxford and our chemists collaborate with the structural biologists in Oxford, for example at the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, the Division of Structural Biology at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and at the Structural Genomic Consortium. The chemists also work in partnership with the Department of Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology and other departments for imaging and radiobiology.
For further information, please contact Dr Rachel MacCoss, Research Facilitator for Chemical Biology (