Directions in Drug Discovery

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.

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. While 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 Associate Professor 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, Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim.

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