Skip to main content
Professor Andrea Brancale

Professor Andrea Brancale

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry


I graduated in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in 1996, and moved to Cardiff in 1997. I completed my PhD at Cardiff University in 2001 under the supervision of Professor McGuigan working on a novel class on anti-VZV (Varicella Zoster Virus) nucleosides.

Following a two year post-doctoral position under the supervision of Professor McGuigan, I was appointed lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in 2002, Senior Lecturer in 2011 and promoted to Reader in 2015.

I am the Scientific Director of the Life Science Research Network Wales


PhD in Medicinal Chemistry. The Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff, 2001


Honours and awards

Professional memberships

Academic positions

  • 2015-2017        Reader in Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiff University.
  • 2011-2015        Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiff University.
  • 2002-2011        Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiff University.
  • 2001-2002        Research Associate, Cardiff University.

Speaking engagements

  • 32nd International Conference on Antiviral Research – Baltimore, USA, 14th May 2019: “Structure-based antiviral drug design”
  • 7th European Congress of Virology – Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 29th April 2018: “Computer-aided antiviral drug design (State of the art)”
  • 16th Medical Biodefence Congress – Munich, Germany, 29th October 2018: “Antivirals & antibiotics development”
    The BMCS Mastering MedChem III: 3rd RCS-BMCS symposium on mastering medicinal chemistry – Cardiff, UK 22nd March 2017
  • 1st Medicinal Chemistry Ireland Conference – Dublin, Ireland 1st July 2016 China – United Kingdom Cancer (CUKC) Conference 2015 – Cardiff, UK 17th-18th July 2015: “Molecular modelling in anticancer drug design: The discovery of the BCL3 inhibitors”
  • "Tenth European Workshop in Drug Design" (X EWDD) – Siena, Italy, 17th – 22nd of May, 2015: "Computer-aided discovery Bcl3 inhibitors as potential anti-metastatic agents"
  • 3rd Antiviral Congress – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13th October 2014: “Antiviral Drug Design: recent developments and future challenges”.
  • 2nd European Seminar in Virology (EuSeV) – Bertinoro, Italy, 13th June 2014: “Rational drug design: a state of the art look for next generation antivirals”.
  • 27th International Conference on Antiviral Research – Raleigh, USA, 12th May 2014: “The Role of Molecular Modelling in Drug Discovery”.
  • 26th International Conference on Antiviral Research – San Francisco, USA, 13th May 2013: “From irrational to rational antiviral drug design”.

Committees and reviewing


We are currently unable to retrieve the list of publications. Visit our institutional repository.


  • PH1122  The role of the pharmacist in professional practice
  • PH1125  Chemical and biological properties of drug molecules
  • PH2112  Principles of drug design
  • PH3101  Optimisation of drug design
  • PH3202  Research methodology
  • PH4116  Pharmacy research or scholarship project
  • PH4117  Pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and the population
  • PH3110  Optimisation of pharmaceutical care
  • Laboratory classes; Molecular Modelling workshops using MOE (Chemical Computing Group); Research Projects

Research interests

    • Computer-aided design, syntehsis and develpment of novel biologically active molecules
    • Molecular modeling software development

The main research focus of my group is in the application of computer-based methods in the design of novel bioactive molecules, in particular in the field of anticancer and antiviral research. Our main objective is to speed up the discovery of novel biologically active hits that can then be optimised to potential clinical candidates, often combining a variety of approaches, from classical medicinal chemistry to more advanced computer-based methods. The higly interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of our research is reflected in our publications, and in the natioal and international network of active collaborations we have fostered during the years.

Below, a representative project that exemplifies our research approach.

Development on novel and highly innovative anticancer drugs

In collaboration with Dr Richard Clarkson (European Cancer Stem Cell institute) and Prof Andrew Westwell (Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences), we are developing novel and innovative anticancer agents. Our collaboration on these projects with the AIM listed biotech company Tiziana Life Sciences was recognized with the 2016 Innovation in Healthcare Award

Welsh Computer-Aided Drug Design Platform

We offer support to a variety drug discovery projects (from hit identification to lead optimisation) by providing guidance in the application of different computer-aided methodologies.

Key expertise
    • Computer-aided Drug Design methodologies (Structure-based drug design, Virtual screening, homology modelling)
    • Organic synthetic chemistry
    • Analytical spectroscopy (NMR, mass spectrometry)

I am the Editor-in Chief of Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy


Past projects