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We aim to extend the range of drugs available, and to provide a scientific basis for the quality use of medicines and bioactive substances.

School of Pharmacy pharmaceutical sciences research includes:

  • Drug discovery
  • Drug metabolism
  • Drug action

Research in metabolism has been designated an 'Area of Research Strength' by the University.

From drug to medicine

Specific areas of expertise are:

  • Computational methods encompassing rational, structure and analogue based drug design techniques
  • QSAR (Quantitative Structural Activity Relationship software)
  • Drug target identification and lead optimisation
  • Chemical synthesis of bioactive compounds
  • Preclinical assessment of new chemical entities including small molecular weight and polypeptide bioactives
  • Development of analytical methods for drugs in formulations and body fluids
  • Studies on drugs of abuse aimed at harm minimization, and for application in forensic toxicology
  • Pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies on synthetic bioactives and those extracted from natural sources

Pharmaceutical equipment

For initial advice contact:


  • Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)
    • ABSciex 3200 triple quad
    • Agilent 6430 triple quad
    • ABSciex QTrap (triple quad plus ion trap)
  • Agilent preparative and semi-preparative HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography)
  • Particle sizer
  • Rheometer
  • Texture analyser
  • Analytical HPLC (UV, ELSD and MS detectors),
  • Infrared (IR) and fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Photochemical reactor
  • Molecular modelling computers with ligand docking programs (e.g. GOLD)

Pharmaceutical contacts

Dr Allan Gamble
Dr Allan Gamble has expertise in bioorganic and medicinal chemistry:

  • Design, optimization and synthesis of new bioactive chemical entities
  • Synthesis and biological evaluation of anti-cancer prodrugs
  • Triggered drug delivery systems


Associate Professor Joel Tyndall
Associate Professor Joel Tyndall has expertise in drug discovery:

  • Modelling
  • Structural biology incorporating structure-based drug design
  • Rational drug design


Professor Sarah Hook
Professor Sarah Hook has expertise in formulation and delivery of drugs incorporating:

  • Development and evaluation of formulations (in vitro and in vivo)
  • Accommodating the physical and chemical properties of the drug
  • Consideration of the proposed method of delivery (parenteral, oral, inhaled and transdermal)

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Group has experience with a variety of immediate and sustained release formulations, including lipid and polymer based nanoparticles.


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