The Chemistry group is responsible for all aspects of medicinal, synthetic, computational and analytical chemistry. In the early phase of projects, this covers the provision of chemical biology tools as well as synthesis of small compound sets for hit validation. As projects become established, the main task is resourcing hits-to-lead and lead optimisation chemistry. The Chemistry group also has significant involvement in intellectual property and identification of patent positions for composition of matter claims.

We are a state-of-the-art synthetic chemistry laboratory. In addition to more standard lab equipment, our chemists have access to automated UV-directed normal and reverse phase preparative column chromatography, multi-position CEM microwave, H-cube flow hydrogenation, Genevac evaporator and a lab bubble bench mounted fume hood reagent weighing station. We also have mass-directed preparative and analytical LCMS instruments for purification and reaction monitoring respectively. We use the Dotmatics suite of software to effectively capture experiments and associated results.

Computational chemistry resources are an important part of the Chemistry group. An experienced computational chemist works alongside structural biology, biophysics and medicinal chemistry providing key expertise in hit generation, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation stages, using a wide range of in silico techniques to support selection and design of molecules with preferred molecular profiles. We use cutting-edge modelling programmes including suites from Schrodinger, Biovia (Pipeline Pilot), CCG (MOE) and Simulation Plus. We also benefit from Nvidia Tesla K80 GPU-equipped hardware for high-end scientific computing, including GPU-accelerated molecular dynamics, data analytics and we are building AI-led drug design capabilities.

Justin Bower (Head of Drug Discovery)

Alan Bilsland
Marta Bon
Kenneth Davies
Alana Hopkins
Kirsten McAulay
Ridvan Nepravishta
Charles Parry
Mairi Sime
Paul Shaw
John Taylor
Christopher West
Ryan West


Research Mahnoor 290x200

Read more about the Research Groups working at the Beatson Institute.



Seminars 2021

Find out more about our seminars including our Distinguished Seminar Programme.