Professor David Gray



Drug Discovery Unit, School of Life Sciences

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+44 (0)1382 386247


The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) within the College of Life Sciences at Dundee has been created to respond to our perceived lack of capacity in the UK for early stage drug discovery in the academic sector. The DDU’s aim is to translate basic science into lead compounds to validate putative drug targets, to use as tools to investigate disease pathways and, when appropriate, advance to pre-clinical drug candidates. The DDU works to Biotech style philosophy and standards incorporating; dynamic, goal driven project management based on Target Product Profiles and Compound Selection Criteria. The DDU is the only fully operational and integrated drug discovery team within UK universities with the full range of disciplines including compound management, screening, molecular pharmacology/enzymology, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, DMPK and disease model capabilities, required to produce novel hit and lead candidates.

Since its inception the Unit has developed an international reputation as a leader in the growing academic drug discovery sector.

As Head of Biology within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU),my role is to develop strategies for people, facilities, equipment and IT to allow the effective support of hit discovery, hits to leads and lead optimisation programs.

We currently support two broad areas, these being neglected diseases (malaria, leishmania, sleeping sickness, TB and Chagas’ disease) and innovative targets; a portfolio to translate new biological findings from Dundee and beyond.  We conduct assay development, small molecule screening and an extensive array of mechanism of action and other supporting biology to define and characterise small molecule tools suitable for use in primary biological research and drug discovery.

View full research profile and publications

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Molecular Pharmacology and Compound Screening

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Areas of expertise

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Infectious diseases
  • Medicines


Award Year
British Empire Medal (BEM) 2021
Innovation and Knowledge Exchange awards / Scottish Knowledge Exchange Award - COVID-19 Collaborative Response Award 2021
Innovator of the Year 2019