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Male researcher inspecting equipment

We apply our expertise in a range of research areas to produce novel medicines, which will ultimately make a difference to the lives of patients across the world.

The world is facing a growing and aging population, as well as the pressure to develop treatments for life-threatening or life-altering diseases and conditions. The Medicines Discovery Institute translates world-leading research into pharmaceutical developments helping to transform care for patients.

We bring together leading researchers in immunity, neuroscience, oncology and infectious disease. With extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector and proven success in bringing new medicines successfully to clinic, our vision is to develop a new approach to the development of novel drugs for neuroscience, mental health and cancer, as well as to train and inspire the next generation of medicines discovery scientists.

Our research focuses on developing new approaches to old pharmaceutical targets to repurpose and improve clinical use, as well as investigating new approaches and targets to create new therapeutics. By partnering and collaborating with industry we aim to translate research expertise into clinical practice.

Research themes

Graphic image of the brain and its connections

Mental Health

Each year 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in the UK.



14.7 million people in the UK live with neurological conditions, with an estimated healthcare cost of £4.4 billion each year.

A closeup of some molecular structures.


With more than 3.2 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths each year in Europe, cancer remains an important public health problem.

The Medicines Discovery Institute is home to multidisciplinary expertise, working together and applying our extensive experience to find solutions for the patients who need them most.

Professor John Atack Director, Medicines Discovery Institute

The challenge

Advancements in healthcare are driven by innovation, technological advancements and by integrating research into clinical practice. To create more effective and efficient treatments we will apply our expertise to identify new molecular targets, utilise our knowledge of disease processes and foster a collaborative approach in order to turn leading biomedical research into novel drugs.


Our research focuses on central nervous system diseases and oncology.

Digital microscope at the School of Biosciences


Access to some of the best technology and facilities allows our researchers to undertake cutting-edge drug discovery research.

Female scientist in laboratory


Active project grants relating to our work in the Medicines Discovery Institute.