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"The University of Oxford offers a unique combination of research skills and facilities that make it a world leader in medicinal chemistry and drug development."

Explore our areas of expertise:

Chemistry, Biologicals, Screening, Drug Development
Modern science has transformed drug discovery, allowing chemists to understand how drugs work at the molecular level as they interact with receptors and proteins to cause physiological responses. Indeed, one of the keys to better treatment now undoubtedly lies in identifying those specific biological pathways that lead to disease development. But even with improved understanding of drug action, the discovery process remains difficult, with each new molecule undergoing a gruelling process of selection, from identification, through synthesis and characterisation, to screening and then on to clinical trials.


The University of Oxford houses drug discovery teams with the full range of disciplines required for early phase drug discovery including compound management, screening, molecular pharmacology/enzymology, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and scale-up chemistry.


We are full equipped with facilities for antibody production (
David Greaves, William Dunn School of Pathology), modification (Ben Davis, Department of Chemistry) and characterisation (George Tranter, Department of Chemistry). There is also huge capacity for protein expression and analysis Ben Davis, Chris Schofield - Department of Chemistry), enzymology (Structural Genomics Consortium, Pharmacology, Biochemistry), protein crystallography (Molecular Biophysics, Division of Structural Biology at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the SGC), proteomics and mass spectrometry (Ben Davis, Chris Schofield - Chemistry, Benedikt Kessler), peptide and protein chemistry (Chris Schofield, Ben Davis - Chemistry).


The University of Oxford are world-leaders in pre-clinical screening techniques such as small molecule, natural product and fragment based compound libraries (
Steve Davies, Angela Russell - Chemistry), assay development (Steve Davies, Angela Russell - Chemistry), automated screening facilities (Steve Davies, Angela Russell - Chemistry), NMR/Mass spectrometry facilities for screening (Tim Claridge, James McCullagh - Chemistry), CADD/modelling (Steve Davies, Angela Russell - Chemistry, and Grant Churchill - Pharmacology) and virtual libraries (Steve Davies, Angela Russell - Chemistry, Grant Churchill - Pharmacology).

Drug Development

In vitro and in vivo drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (Len Seymour - Clinical Pharmacology), In vitro and in vivo modelling (Richard Callaghan - Nuffield Department of Medicine), Toxicology (Len Seymour, Derek Terrar - Clinical Pharmacology) and Pre-clinical and clinical imaging (Veronique Gouverneur, Ben Davis - Chemistry).