Dr Darren Flower

Reader in Pharmacy

School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
, Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)121 204 5182
Email:  [email protected]


Research Group

Molecular Biomedical Research

Research Centre

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) 

Dr Darren Flower
I am a truly interdisciplinary scientist: an innovative specialist in bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and cheminformatics, with unique experience of the pre-clinical research environment in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

My past experience includes a PhD in Structural Biology, 7 years doing drug design in the pharmaceutical industry, and 10 years in preclinical vaccine design and discovery.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

I am the author of over 175 papers, with over 14350 citations, including 4 citation classic (400+ citations) and 35 mini-classics (100+ citations), and an H-index of 54. 

I am the editor of 7 books, including the monograph: Bioinformatics for Vaccinology. 

I teach on the MPharm and the MSC programmes.

Teaching Activity on the MPharm Programme

  • PH2507: Scientific communication.
  • PH3605: Drug design methodology, computational chemistry, immunoinformatics and vaccine discovery.
  • PH3608: Scientific communication, research methodology.
  • PH4704: Research methodology


  • BSc, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, 1988.
  • ARCS, Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, 1988. 
  • Wellcome Prize PhD in Molecular Biophysics. Thesis Title: Structural Studies of the Lipocalin Protein Family. University of Leeds, 1992.
  • Chartered Chemist, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1995.
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005.
I joined Aston as a Reader in the School of Life and Health Sciences in January 2010 after 4 years as a Jenner Fellow and Principal Investigator at the University of Oxford, following 6 years as a Senior Group Leader at the Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, and 7 years as a Principal Research Chemist with Astra Pharmaceuticals. 
I will be teaching on at least two courses: the MPharm and the MSC in Drug Design.

I have many research interests, many more than my track-record can attest. More specifically, my initial research objectives lie at the intersection of drug design and immunology. My greatest accomplishments lie in the field of Immunoinformatics, and thus many of my goals lie in that area: in silico, in vitro, and in vivo discovery of novel small-molecule adjuvants; epitope identification leveraging a range of techniques; and also the discovery of novel whole protein antigens as candidate vaccines. 

1 Studentship funded by the Biochemical Society, 2 self-funded, and 1 funded by GSK

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Editorial Positions

  • I am Editor-in-Chief for Immunology and Immunogenetics Insights
  • I am Editor-for-Europe for Current Computer-Aided Drug Design
  • I am an Associate Editor for BioInformation
  • I am a Section Editor for Immunomics Research
  • I am a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Biochemical Journal

I am also a member of following Editorial Boards:

  • The Open Vaccine Journal
  • The Open Proteomics Journal
  • The Open Organic Chemistry Journal
  • The Open Natural Products Journal
  • Evolutionary Bioinformatics
  • Current Drug Discovery Technologies
I was formerly a member of the Editorial Board of Applied Bioinformatics (now defunct).

I am one of Biomed Central’s HOT 100 2006 and 2007.


Bioinformatics for Vaccinology. Wiley, Author: Flower, DR. WileyBlackwell. 2008. ISBN-10: 0470027118. ISBN-13: 978-0470027110.

Edited books:

  • Bioinformatics for Immunomics (IIMS series). Springer. Editors: Davies MN, Ranganathan S, and Flower DR. Springer. 2009. ISBN-10: 1441905391. ISBN-13: 978-1441905390 
  • Immunoinformatics: predicting immunogenicity in silico. Editor: Flower, DR. Methods in Molecular Biology series, Humana Press. ISBN: 978-1-58829-699-3 (print). ISBN: 978-1-60327-118-9 (Online). 
  • In silico Immunology. Editors: Flower, DR and Timmis, J. Springer, 2006. ISBN-10: 0-387-39238-6 ISBN-13: 978-0-387-39238-7. 
  • Lipocalins. Editors: Flower, DR, Salier, JP, Akerstrom B, Borregarrd, N. Landes Press. 2006. ISBN: 1-58706-297-6. 
  • Drug Design: Cutting Edge Approaches. Editor: Flower, DR, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1st edition, March 2002. Hardcover, 192pp. ISBN: 0854048162. ISBN-13: 978-0854048168

Recent Publications