Prof Andrew Pitt

Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Chemical Biology


School of Life and Health Sciences
Aston University
B4 7ET

+44 (0)121 204 3005

Research Group   

Molecular Biomedical Research

Research Centre 

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA)



Professor Andrew Pitt
Professor Andrew Pitt



    Pharmaceutical chemistry is the process of making a new drugs, including their design, synthesis, and optimization of the drug molecules.




    Chemical biology is the application of chemistry, including the use of chemical compounds and chemical tools and technologies, to study and manipulate biology.



We would welcome enquiries from PhD-qualified researchers from all countries outside the UK wishing to apply for a Marie Curie Fellowship to come and join our dynamic group at Aston. There are two Fellowship Schemes available: 



  • For early- to mid-career researchers of any nationality currently working in Europe
    (Intra-European fellowship, IEF); 


  • For researchers at mid-career plus working in any country outside of Europe
    (International Incoming Fellowship, IIF).



Research projects could cover a broad range of areas, such as chemical proteomics, protein modification, protein interactions, multimolecular microarrays, systems biology, and biomarker discovery and identification. More information on these areas is given in my research interest below. Please contactme for further details.

We also welcome applications from UK and EU students and funded overseas PhD students who would like to come and work in our state of the art labs.  We have a diverse group, both scientifically and culturally, and pride ourselves in our friendly and relaxed working environment where real talent can blossom. Please contactme for further details.

My research projects cover a broad area and include:

  • Analysis of protein modification in health and disease

  • Proteomic, metabolomic and lipidomic profiling of diseases and the effects of drugs.

  • Pharmaceutical chemistry – drug discovery and development

  • Analytical biochemistry – the detailed analysis of biopharmaceuticals, biomolecules and biomarkers

  • Chemical biology – using chemistry as a tool to understand biology, especially chemical proteomics

  • Identifying early markers of chronic drug toxicity using mass spctrometry

  • Systems biology - focus on cellular signalling pathways; regulation and crosstalk






The range of projects available at Aston can be found on the PhD Projects page, and some specific examples in my group are (click on the title to download more details of the project):




Chemical proteomics to understand the mechanism and side effects of antibiotics     




The effect of surface modification and topography on stem cell differentiation 




PTEN Redox Signalling through protein interactions




Lipoproteins as a window on cardiovascular health.




Membrane protein lipidomics in the study of microbial division




New methods for studying the effects of redox biochemistry on protein function 




Post-graduate students are vital to the research that we do and are an integral part of our research group, both scientifically and socially.  We aim to provide a dynamic research environment where you can develop the skills necessary to embark on the next step of your career, such as independent thinking, problem solving, project organization, writing and public speaking.  Over the last few years I have supervised more than 20 students on post-graduate research degrees through to the completion of their studies, including 12 PhD students, all of whom have gone on to full time careers in many different areas, from the police force to academia.




Every year we also host a number of overseas students who choose to do their placement in our labs.  If you have your own funding and would like the opportunity to come and work with us then please contact me.

My research has always been about understanding how biology works at the molecular level, using a multidisciplinary approach combining chemistry, biology, physics and engineering. We are developing techniques and technologies and applying them to help to understand complex biological problems, in collaboration with many talented research groups.  Many of the techniques and technologies we are developing also have a much broader applications, and we have research in many areas including drug discovery and analysis, chemical biology, biomarker discovery, biotechnology, biocatalysis, and systems and synthetic biology. 


One of our aims is to generate a better understanding, diagnosis, stratification, and treatment of disease, from identifying new targets for drugs, through to monitoring the therapeutic effect of drugs in the clinic.
At the cellular level we are interested in how the complex pathways involved in intracellular signalling are regulated, the role of redox chemistry in signalling and cellular damage, and understanding the molecular targets of drugs.




I am also a investigator in the EU funded innovative training network MASSTRPLAN: Mass Spectrometry Training Network for Protein Lipid Analysis.




To see how I got into this and some of the research that I have been involved in along the way, you can watch my Inaugural Lecture on YouTube.


  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry


  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology


  • President of the British Proteomics Society


  • Member of the Inner Executive Council of the European Proteomics Association and chair of the Journals committee


  • Member of The Biochemical Society


2015 - 2017   Aston Multidisciplinary Research for Antimicrobial Resistance: AMR4AMR, and EPSRC funded Bridging the Gaps grant - click here see the AMR4AMR web page




2015-2019    MASSTRPLAN: Mass Spectrometry Training Network for Protein Lipid Adduct Analysis, an EU funded Innovative Training Network - click here to see the MASSTRPLAN web page.




2011 – 2016    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.  Proxomics; Next Generation Analytical Tools:   Applications to Protein Oxidations that Affect Human Health and Wellbeing 




2012 - 2015     European Regional Development Fund "Promoting Biomarker Development in West Midlands SMEs"




2009 – 2012    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Molecular Nose
2008 – 2015    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and  Biotechnology and Biological Sciences  Research Council. A Doctoral Training Center for Cell and Proteomic Technologies
2007 – 2011    Scottish Funding Council. Biomarkers for Battling Chronic Disease
2005 – 2011    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The RASOR Interdisciplinary Research  Collaboration in Proteomic Technologies




The ERDF project was part funded by the European Union


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2012 - date          Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Aston University
2009 - 2011         Reader, Division of Integrative and Systems Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life                               Sciences
2005 - 2011         Director, RASOR Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in Proteomic                             Technologies
2005 - 2011         Director, Doctoral Training Centre in Proteomics
2005 - 2011         Director, Sir Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics Facility
2005 - 2009         Senior Lecturer in Proteomics, Division of Integrative and Systems Biology, Institute of                             Biomedical and Life Sciences
2002 - 2005         Deputy Director and Head of Proteomics, SHWFGF, University of Glasgow
1993 - 2002         Lecturer, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde.
1990 - 1993         Research Fellow, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge.
1989 - 1992         Schering Fellow in Bioorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of                                     Cambridge.
1988 - 1989         Research Assistant, Oxford University.
1985 - 1988         D.Phil., Biological Chemistry, Oxford University.
1982 - 1985         B.Sc, Chemistry, University of Bristol

PH3602: Antimicrobial agents and anticancer agents


PH3605: Medicinal chemistry – drugs from natural products and modern approaches to target discovery

While I spend most of my time teaching and running my research group at Aston, my research interests have led me into a number of other activities:.




The British Society for Proteome Research                                        




I am currently the President of the British Society for Proteome Research – the BSPR.




The BSPR is the society for all UK scientists interested in the field of proteomics and closely related fields.  Proteomics is the study of the proteins contained in a biological sample, which could be a virus, a cell, tissue, blood, or any other biological materials.




The aims of the society are to advance the science of proteomics, and to promote the study and research in this and related areas, for the benefit of all. It enables scientists to keep up-to-date with current developments both nationally and internationally and to meet and exchange ideas with other workers. It has a particular focus on education, and offers a range of benefits, including a number of bursaries for members to attend scientific meetings and workshops. Unlike many learned societies the BSPR has members from a wide range of organizations including industry and the health service, as well as research and academic institutions.




The BSPR offers a nuber of generous bursaries to student members to attend meetings, and frequently offers discount rates to membeers at its annual meeting.  It also supports a number of proteomics meetings around the UK.








The BSPR represents both the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and the European Proteomics Association (EuPA) in the UK, and is affiliated to the Society of Biology.








If you use proteomics, want to use proteomics, or are just keen to learn more, why not JOIN THE BSPR.








The Relevance of New Technologies to the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.








The Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Conventions are two International treaties that prohibit the generation, production, stockpiling or use of these weapons.  My interest in these is how the developments in modern science are both a threat and of potential benefit to these conventions, and how scientific research developed for benefit could also be put to detrimental use, the dual-use conundrum. 






I got into this area because many of the tools and technologies that have been developed in my research fields, and some of the understanding of biology that we gain from it, have the potential for dual use, or could be used to detect the use of biological or chemical weapons and identify the weapon. Dual use means that while the science was developed for beneficial reasons, such as to understand and treat disease, the very same science could possibly be used to do harm.  A recent good example of this was the genomic sequencing of the flu virus that was responsible for the 1918 flu pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide.  The science gave us a much better understanding of why this particular flu virus was so harmful, which means we are better prepared and can produce better treatments, should a similar outbreak occur. The question is, could this information now be used to engineer an artificial virus with similar properties.

Recent publications

Click here to see my full publications on Google Scholar

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