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Our group uses synthetic chemistry and biochemistry to develop small-molecule therapeutics and generate new insights into fundamental biology. We are interested in using tool molecules and interdisciplinary methodology to identify and validate new drug targets.

Docking pose of 'RUSKI-201' small-molecule inhibitor


As part of the Medicinal Chemistry Group in the Department of Pharmacology, our research involves the synthesis and development of biologically active small-molecules. This includes identification of new inhibitors by screening approaches, design of improved molecules using rational and computational guidance, and testing of molecules in biochemical, cellular and in vivo settings. Current Medicinal Chemistry projects include: development of molecules to reverse antibiotic resistance; non-natural modulation of protease activity; light-activated therapies for treatment of cancer.


Our research in Chemical Biology involves the use of chemical methodology and small molecules to probe biological questions. This encompasses a range of methodology including organic synthesis, bioorthogonal 'click' chemistry, and biochemical or mass spectrometry-based proteomic analyses. Current areas of interest include: profiling of small-molecule targets in vivo; synthetic functionalisation of proteins; use of machine-learning for analysis and optimisation of biochemical processes. 


We are always on the lookout for motivated people to join the lab. If interested, please make contact to discuss further ( At the postdoctoral level, we are willing to support applications to fellowship programmes. At the PhD student level, recruitment is conducted via one of the Oxford University doctoral training programmes; please note that these programmes normally close in January each year. We particularly welcome interest from groups that are under-represented in scientific research.  

Our team


Postdoctoral researchers: 2023: Adam Thomas; 2022: Om Tanwar.

Part II/MSc: 2023: Amy Stonehouse, Adam Winnifrith, Isla Sandeman, Arina Belov; 2022: Anna McDonald, Thomas Hodgkinson, Kiera Gilbert, Vasiliki Mina; 2021: Nicholas Etherington, Jemima Brimacombe.

BSc: 2021: Tara Shutes, Jasmine Harris.

Visiting researchers: 2023: Why Wong (Cambridge); 2022: Gabriele La Monica (Palermo), Vanessa Rogga (Zagreb); 2021: Marine Guingand (Paris), Sarah Kapllani Mucaj (Cambridge).

Collaborating labs

Dr Kerstin Timm (Pharmacology)

Prof. Timothy Walsh (Zoology)

Dr Georgia Isom (Pathology)

Prof. Ben Davis (Pharmacology & Rosalind Franklin Institute)

Prof. Angela Russell (Pharmacology & Chemistry)

Prof. Ming Lei (Pharmacology)

Related research themes