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About the Centre

The Centre for Medicines Discovery is a multi-disciplinary Institute within the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine which focuses upon translational activities to catalyse the discovery and development of new medicines for patients.

We focus upon inherited and rare diseases, anti-microbial resistance, autoimmunity, inflammation, GI, respiratory, cardiometabolic, cancer & CNS diseases with a view to generating new tools, technologies and methodologies to transform drug targeting and pre-clinical development. We build upon cutting-edge technologies such as genetics & genomics, molecular, structural & single cell biology as well as spatial imaging to transform drug targeting and pre-clinical development.

We are closely linked with affiliated activity within the Nuffield Department of Medicine and within Oxford, including the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Big Data Institute, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, William Dunn School of Pathology, Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. We work with our Clinical Specialities to pioneer our new technology, medicines and their application in the UK, including Modernising Medical Microbiology, Respiratory Medicine and Translational Gastroenterology Units and others. We have close relationship with our overseas programmes. We also work closely with local partners including the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Diamond Light Source and a range of SMEs. Our deep collaborations with a number of large pharmaceutical companies as well as disease foundations allow us to identify new clinical approaches rapidly. The local and national hospital network gives us the opportunity to advance these developments into novel experimental medicine studies incorporating new biomarkers and patient stratification methodologies.

The Centre for Medicines Discovery is directed by Prof. Chas Bountra, Professor of Translational Medicine and is based at the University of Oxford’s Old Road Campus, at the heart of Oxford’s biomedical research and clinical capabilities.

Our ethos

We are focused on producing high quality research tools and reproducible data, exploiting new technology platforms and academic innovations, and collaborating/ partnering with all stakeholders (other research institutes/ universities across the world, CROs, med-tech, data and pharma companies, funders, patient groups, regulators/ policy makers, and governments). We aim, wherever possible to make our tools, data and knowledge freely available to the biomedical community in order to catalyse science and the discovery of new medicines. We prioritise our disease areas where there is unmet need, and where our expertise and technologies can create impact.

Our research and outputs

Our research outputs include pre-competitive research tools (protein production methods, structures, novel small molecule cellular inhibitors, and novel biophysical, biochemical and cellular assays), proprietary lead optimisation programmes and clinical molecules, new disease biomarker signatures and patient stratification methodologies. Our ultimate goal is to generate novel clinically de-risked drug targets and clinical assets.

Institute Environment

The CMD is made up of more than 100 scientists, based in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, located on the Old Road Research Campus. The campus is home to world-leading institutes in epidemiology, big data, genetics, structural biology, biomedical engineering, cardio-metabolic and inflammatory diseases, and drug target discovery, many of whom we work directly with. The BioEscalator is also on campus and is dedicated to translation of basic science discoveries and the creation of new enterprises. The site is in walking distance of the local cancer, psychiatric, orthopaedic and general hospitals. This world renowned translational campus is a ten minute cycle ride from the University’s basic science campus, housing additional departments in biochemistry, pathology, chemistry, computational and material science, and statistics and mathematics.