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About us

Researchers working in a busy chemistry lab

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru scheme, the Medicines Discovery Institute aims to translate fundamental discoveries in disease processes and the identification of molecular targets into new drugs.

According to the NHS, currently almost half of all adults in the UK take prescription drugs either as a prevention or treatment. We provide a centre of excellence, translating research expertise into new treatments for use in the healthcare environment.

Our main research aim is to deliver modern drug discoveries to improve established treatments, either with new approaches to old targets or by developing innovative approaches through new targets.

Transforming the lives of patients is at the centre of everything we aim to achieve at the Medicines Discovery Institute. Our focus is to apply our expertise to translate cutting-edge biomedical research into new medicines that will improve lives.

Professor Simon Ward Director, Medicines Discovery Institute

Bringing together world-leading scientists to produce and identify new drug candidates, we are a unique conduit for collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. Our research covers modern drug discovery across the spectrum of oncology, immunity, neuroscience and central nervous system diseases.

We foster vital links between our researchers and the pharmaceutical industry, allowing us to translate our research into real products that can improve the lives of people all over the world, whilst putting Wales at the forefront of medical innovation.

The Institute is located in the School of Biosciences with access to contemporary facilities that provide an ideal environment in which to undertake our research.


Our vision is ambitious, aiming to make us a focal point for medicines discovery and innovation within Cardiff University and the wider UK academic community. The initiative complements and extends long-standing drug discovery work at Cardiff, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, cancer and infection.

We are building on the pharmaceutical research base that exists in the UK, establishing a community of around 100 world-leading scientists and rising stars from all over the world. By fostering strong relationships with industry, this team of researchers are translating fundamental research into novel drug discovery for use in clinical treatment.

We are attracting and nurturing international research talent from the most senior level to the most promising postgraduate students, with a particular focus on talented early career scientists through our ongoing fellowship initiative.

Through our research, we aim to develop the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists by attracting new researchers into the field and providing access to interdisciplinary training and cutting-edge resources.