Chemical Biology Team


The Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow together with the Drug Discovery team at the Beatson Institute have a strong research grouping in Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. Our expertise, knowledge and experience within the area allow us to pursue collaborative ventures to develop new tools, probes and methods to understand, delineate and modify fundamental biological processes.

Using chemistry to develop new anti-cancer drugs


The grouping can deliver the capacity, infrastructure, experience and critical mass to give rapid access to small molecules as well as bespoke peptides and nucleic acids, to provide probe compounds for basic research along with innovation at each stage of the drug discovery pipeline from hit-to-lead through to pre-clinical development.

We have experience in:

  • Design and synthesis of anticancer compounds
  • Hit generation and lead optimisation
  • Bespoke peptide synthesis
  • RNA splicing
  • Synthesis of modified nucleic acid analogues
  • Synthesis of (modified) peptides and peptide mimics
  • Synthesis of imaging and diagnostic probes
  • Molecular modelling to support drug discovery


The following funding agencies sponsor our work:



Optimized Chemical Probes for REV-ERBa. J. Med. Chem. 2013. 56, 4729–4737

A public-private partnership to unlock the untargeted kinome. Nature Chem. Biol. 2013, 9, 3–6

Selective detection of double-stranded DNA sequences using pyrrole-imidazole polyamide microarrays J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 3449–3457

Nickel-Mediated Radioiodination of Aryl and Heteroaryl Bromides: Rapid Synthesis of Tracers for SPECT Imaging, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2013, 52, 7829–7832

Associated chemistry networks


WestCHEM, the joint Research School of Chemistry for the West of Scotland, was founded in 2005 as an internationally leading Research School in Chemical Sciences, delivering forefront chemistry research in state-of-the-art laboratories, and educating tomorrow's leaders through chemistry.

Chemical Biology Network: seeks to develop a strategic alignment of synthetic and medicinal chemists, biologists and industrial end users to provide a blueprint for the provision of chemical probes to support clinical validation and drug discovery efforts within the UK.

The founder members of the Network are based at University of Strathclyde, University of Sussex, The Structural Genomics Consortium and The European Bioinformatics Institute. is actively engaging academics and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry who are interested in the drug discovery process by identifying and promoting new collaborative interactions at the chemistry/biology interface.

Glasgow Chemical Biology Network

The Glasgow Chemical Biology Network aims to foster enhanced research interaction throughout the city and provide a platform to facilitate, nurture and establish collaboration at the chemistry biology interface.

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