biological microscope in front of a scientist

Discovery Biology and Therapeutics

Discovery Biology and Therapeutics investigates the mechanisms of disease and novel therapies and pathways to promote health.

Focus of our research

This theme uses novel scientific and clinical approaches to support the development of modern therapeutic discovery, drug development, and disease prevention.

We have expertise in areas including target selection and validation, lead molecule identification and optimisation, computational drug design and disease modelling. This incorporates the work being done by Professor Mark Wheatley, who has an international reputation for his research into the structure and function of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

Our interests include metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, cardioprotective strategies, drug safety, SARS-CoV-2, cancer and the immune response.

We develop, test and implement clinical diagnostic, therapeutic and complex behaviour change interventions to improve health and healthcare in the community and NHS settings.

Our vision: Improving society by innovative collaborative health-related research.

Our mission: To carry out high quality basic and applied research that underpins disease prevention and the discovery of new therapeutics.

Key researchers

Professor Christopher Reynolds

Theme Lead

Christopher A Reynolds BSc (St Andrews) PhD (St Andrews) FRSC Chem has over 40 years experience in the development of computational (bio)chemistry methods and their application to problems at the interface between chemistry and biology. Current interests include G protein-coupled receptors, particularly those involved in diabetes and pain, Androglobin (a relatively new hemoglobin), identifying allosteric binding sites (including potential drug targets for covid-19), and sequence alignment in the twilight zone, applied to comparative modelling of difficult structures.


Researchers in this theme take novel scientific and clinical approaches to supporting the development of modern-day therapeutics discovery and development. 

Find out more about some of our projects:

Heart rate


Novel human-cell based assay for assessment of cardiovascular liability.

Side view of The Hub sign

Addressing GPCR conformational flexibility

Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to understand more fully the conformational landscape of GPCRs in the presence of agonist.

Side view of The Hub sign

Using novel computational modelling approaches to address biased agonism at the Adenosine A1 receptor

Developing a Markov state model of the ligand binding process and how this leads to activation.

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