Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research

Medicinal chemistry is the discovery, design and synthesis of potential new drugs. Pharmaceutical chemistry is the development of these into optimized drugs that can be sold as pharmaceuticals.  The discovery and design of drugs requires an understanding of the biology of a disease to find an effective target for the drug, and will often involve computer-based in silico discovery and design of the drug structure. Research in  Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry  also includes the synthesis of the designed drugs, the optimization of their structures and action, and the development of methods for producing the drugs on a larger scale; these are challenging tasks which involve working in multidisciplinary teams with other members of the pharmacy research team as well as biologists, mathematicians and engineers. 

Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research at Aston is involved in all aspects of the drug discovery and development process.  High-data content methodologies such as proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics, along with chemical, biochemical and biological methods are used to identify the mechanism of drug action, off target effects and new drug targets. Computation methods are used to design new drugs, re-purpose drugs that already have approval for new therapeutic uses, and identify targets for vaccine development. Potential new drug entities are synthesized, tested and optimized.  Aston has a strong track record of research in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry, and for translating this into real-world solutions, and is one of only two Universities in the UK to have developed a blockbuster drug, temozolomide for treating glioma.

Research Staff in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry


Professor Andrew Pitt
Prof Andrew Pitt

Research Interests:  mass spectrometry,  proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, chemical biology

Dr Darren Flower
Dr Darren Flower

Research Interests:  vaccine design, antigen epitope discovery, chemoinformatics

Dr Dan Rathbone
Dr Dan Rathbone

Research Interests:  computer-aided drug design, synthesis of antibacterials, anti-TBG compounds, transglutaminase inhibitors.

Dr Bill Fraser

Research Interests: solid phase synthesis, antisense, heterocyclic synthesis, molecular recognition.

Dr Eric Lattmann
Dr Eric Lattmann

  Research Interests: drug design and synthesis, combinatorial synthesis, anti-depressants, analgesia.

Dr Qinguo Zheng
Research Interests:  modified nucleic acids, peptide nucleic acids, antisense, antigene, natural products