Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery (BCDD)

Improving our understanding of pathogen biology and transforming drug discovery for both infectious and non-infectious diseases; making the previously undruggable, druggable.

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We target lethal and debilitating pathogens, address urgent unmet patient needs, and deliver new medicines; working in a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative and well-resourced research environment. Delivery is enabled through technological innovation, research excellence, and partnerships with research and development organisations and pharmaceutical companies.

World-leading centres and teams

BCDD incorporates the following world-leading centres and teams:

Core strengths

Cross-cutting core strengths and innovation areas include:

  • drug-resistance
  • chemical biology
  • glycobiology
  • medicinal chemistry
  • gene expression control mechanisms
  • genetic manipulation
  • high-throughput screening
  • proteomics
  • molecular interactions
  • imaging
  • informatics

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases we target include:

  • African trypanosomiasis
  • leishmaniasis
  • Chagas disease
  • malaria
  • cryptosporidiosis
  • cryptococcosis
  • schistosomiasis
  • tuberculosis

Training and mentoring are embedded at all levels. Several highly successful spinouts and start-ups have attracted major investment.

Read about our 2021 impact case studies

Head of Division

Portrait photo of David Horn
View Professor David Horn


Professor of Parasite Molecular Biology

Professor Horn’s research focusses on Neglected Tropical Diseases, caused by trypanosomes. Areas of expertise include drug resistance, drug development, gene expression control, immune evasion, molecular genetics, and high-throughput genetic screens.

+44 (0)1382 386286

Deputy Head of Division

Academic staff

Beatriz Baragaña
View Dr Beatriz Baragana


Principal Investigator, Apicomplexan Portfolio Manager

The Baragaña lab (DDU apicomplexan portfolio) is focused on delivering effective and safe treatments for malaria, cryptosporidiosis and schistosomiasis exploiting novel biological pathways.

+44 (0)1382 386059

Portrait photo of Mark Field
View Professor Mark Field


Professor of Cell Biology and Parasitology

Professor Field’s work principally exploits the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and efforts to leverage genomics and proteomics resources to provide insight into virulence mechanisms and basic cell biology, with specific interests in protein transport systems and nuclear organisation. He has interests in bioinformatics, graphic design, functional genomics and eukaryotic evolutionary biology.

+44 (0)1382 384860



Key contacts

Name Role Email
Shona McInroy Lab Manager
Jamie Curran Lab Manager
Susan Ross Senior Technical Support
Kirstie Hughes PA to Prof Ian Gilbert
Diane Purves PA to Prof Alessio Ciulli
Debbie Tarver Executive Administrator and Team Leader
Deborah Moorjani Secretary
Professor David Gray Public Engagement Champion
Scott Hendry Senior Technical Support
Cavan Short Lab Management Support Technician
Euan Waugh Lab Management Support Technician
Margo Petrie Senior Division Secretary
Megan Findlay Senior Division Secretary


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