Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery

Welcome to GRIDD, where we search for solutions to some of the world’s most devastating diseases.

Our research contributes to a global detective story - finding new and better ways to combat disease - that is one of the most complex problems of the 21st century.

Early drug discovery is the critical foundation for developing new treatments for diseases like cancer, malaria and TB; overcoming drug resistance; and helping improve the lives of people with spinal injuries.

We innovate at the chemistry-biology interface, and collaborate with academia, the community, government, health and industry. We are very proud to foster the next generation of drug discovery scientists.

Please partner with us in our search for revolutionary new treatments.

Our research

The Institute strives for excellence through supporting our research teams to work collaboratively to advance the discovery of new drugs. Innovation is encouraged through cross-disciplinary rigour and global collaboration. Read more about our work combating specific diseases and disabilities, below.

Find out more about our research

Directions in Drug Discovery


An estimated 130,470 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Australia in 2016, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020. Professors Vicky Avery, Sally-Ann Poulsen and Associate Professor Rohan Davis talk about their early discoveries of compounds acting on breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Infectious diseases

Malaria and other infectious diseases like Sleeping Sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis) and Tuberculosis cause the death of more than 1 million people annually. The Institute is working on a number of fronts to discover new drugs to prevent and cure these diseases. Professors Kathy Andrews, Vicky Avery and Ron Quinn discuss their research progress.

Parkinson's disease

About 70,000 Australians are affected by this progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. Professor George Mellick explains his research to find a cure, including the genetics of Parkinsonism and interactions between genetic and environmental factors.

Drug resistance

Outsmarting antimicrobial drug resistance by disarming disease-causing bacteria or encouraging human cells to destroy bacteria are approaches being taken by GRIDD Director Professor Jenny Martin and Dr James St John, respectively.

And Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen’s team has discovered a new way to reverse multidrug resistance in cancer.

Spinal Cord Injury Repair

An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people globally suffer from spinal cord injury (World Health Organisation). In Australia alone, the total cost to the community for these injuries is more than $2 billion annually. Thus a therapy which gives people back their independence will save our community these enormous costs. Dr James St John’s ground-breaking research, pioneered by GRIDD’s Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, offers hope of new therapies for those affected.

Unique resources

The Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery has unique drug discovery resources.

Nature Bank

Nature Bank is a resource based on natural products, with two libraries – one with 10,000 natural product extracts and another with 50,000 natural product fractions. Both are ready for high throughput screening against any disease.

Find out more about Nature Bank

Compounds Australia

Representing the nation's compound collection, Compounds Australia curates 400,000 purified chemicals and the Nature Bank fractions, and connects chemists with biologists for drug discovery research.

Find out more about Compounds Australia

Unique technology

Our key technologies include High Throughput Screening and Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry.

Find out more about our unique technologies

Research Highlights