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Pharmacology and Molecular Bioscience

Focus of our research

Research within this theme focuses on understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms to provide novel insights into cellular processes and their regulation.

This includes receptors, cell signalling, development of organisms, their interaction with pathogens, plus the molecular basis and pathophysiology of diseases including cancer and metabolic disorders, as well as signalling and transcriptional pathways in normal and pathological states.

We exploit multi-disciplinary approaches including molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, biochemical pharmacology, confocal microscopy, genetics/epigenetics, computational and systems biology.

Our vision: Improving health through a detailed understanding of molecules and cells.

Our mission: To investigating cellular mechanisms to benefit human health.

Key researchers

Professor Mark Wheatley

Theme Lead

Professor Mark Wheatley was appointed by Coventry University as Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology in 2018 and is Lead for the Pharmacology & Molecular Bioscience Research Theme in the CHLS Research Centre. He has over 30 years’ experience investigating the structure and function of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using multi-disciplinary approaches. He was appointed lecturer by the University of Birmingham in 1988, given a Chair in Biochemical Pharmacology by the University of Birmingham in 2007 and made Honorary Professor in 2018 before joining Coventry University. Interest in his research by the pharmaceutical industry has resulted in a series of collaborations with multi-national pharmaceutical companies. He was elected Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society in 2016.

Project spotlight

Our research aims to increase our understanding of fundamental molecular mechanisms to provide novel insights into cellular processes and their regulation for the benefit of human health.

Find out more about some of our projects:


Investigating GPCR:RAMP

G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and complexes with accessory proteins (RAMPs) will be purified in nanoscale discs. These will be used to develop small antibodies (nanobodies) as tools for investigating receptor function.


Investigating the function and substrate interaction network of ABHD16A

ABHD16A, a known phosphatatidylserine-lipase involved in neuroimmunological function, was recently identified as a novel, selective APT. This study aims to characterise the molecular mechanisms and functions of a novel APT, ABHD16A.

Pill bottle lying on side with pills spilling onto table

Transition state analysis to guide drug discovery

Exploiting and developing a new state-of-the-art computational model that makes it possible to predict how well a drug will bind to its receptor, how the receptor will change shape, and which signalling pathways it will activate.

stomach surrounded by microbes

Active Gut Microbiota, the Missing Link in Colorectal Cancer: Molecular Analysis of Active Gut Microbiota in Hospital Setting

This interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust is aiming to investigate the link between the activity of the human gut microbiota and colorectal cancer.

cancer cells

Investigating the effects of secreted microbial metabolites produced under acid conditions on colorectal cancer cell growth

This multidisciplinary project is aiming to study the molecular mechanism by which secreted metabolites, which are produced in vitro by the human gut microbiota under acid conditions, modulate colorectal cancer cell growth and metabolism.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023