Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery

Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) tackles devastating diseases using the unique Compounds Australia and Nature Bank resources, and an extensive global network of partners.

We innovate at the chemistry-biology interface, and collaborate with academia, the community, government, health, not-for-profits and industry. We thank our current supporters including The Clem Jones Foundation, Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, AEGIUM, Parkinson’s Qld, and the Queensland and Federal Governments.

We are 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 are working to discover compounds that are active against breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases kill more than one million people annually. GRIDD’s Professors Kathy Andrews, Vicky Avery and Ron Quinn are seeking new drugs to treat diseases like malaria and TB, while Director Professor Jenny Martin is exploring new approaches to treat complicated urinary tract infections as well as melioidosis, a common disease in northern Australia.

Parkinson's disease

About 70,000 Australians are affected by this progressive disease of the nervous system. Professor George Mellick’s research explores the genetics of Parkinsonism and the interactions between genetic and environmental factors that contribute to onset and development of the disease.

Drug resistance

Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen has discovered a new way to reverse multidrug resistance in cancer. Dr James St John is encouraging human cells to destroy disease-causing bacteria, while GRIDD Director Professor Jenny Martin is exploring how to disarm bacteria so they cannot cause disease.

Spinal Cord Injury Repair

Up to half a million people globally suffer from spinal cord injury. GRIDD’s Dr James St John in the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research offers hope of new therapies. This research was pioneered by 2017 Australian of the Year, GRIDD’s Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim.

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