Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Andrew Westwell

Yr Athro Andrew Westwell

Reader in Medicinal Chemistry

Ysgol Fferylliaeth a Gwyddorau Fferyllol

Sylwebydd y cyfryngau



  • PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, University of Leeds (1990-1993)
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University of Leeds (1987-1990)


























Research interests 

Having trained in synthetic organic chemistry, focusing on asymmetric synthesis and catalysis, the main focus of my research activities in recent years has been in the area of medicinal chemistry and cancer drug discovery.

I am a medicinal chemist with extensive experience of the synthesis and biological evaluation of new small molecules with potential antitumour activity. My research interests can be divided into the following categories:

  • Breast cancer drug design and discovery
  • Selective apoptosis induction in cancer cells
  • Protein-protein interactions as cancer drug targets
  • E3 ubiquitin ligases as therapeutic targets in cancer
  • Diagnostic imaging (Positron Emission Tomography) in oncology and neuroscience
  • Characterisation of novel psychoactive substances, in conjunction with Public Heath Wales and Llandough Hospital Cardiff

Cancer drug design and discovery

Previously I have been involved in a variety of cancer drug discovery projects, using cell-based screening methods to identify new compounds of interest. One of these discovery projects has resulted in the identification of a new agent in clinical trial (Phortress). Current research interests are directed towards the following areas:

  • a breast cancer associated E3 ubiquitin ligase (BCA2) and E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (Rad6B)
  • protein-protein interaction targets in cancer
  • selective induction of apoptosis in cancer cells

Diagnostic imaging in cancer and neuroscience using Positron Emission Tomography

Interests in this area centre on the discovery of new 18F-labelled aromatic molecules for potential diagnostic PET imaging applications, and chemical methodologies for the late stage installation of fluoride into aromatic therapeutic and diagnostic agents.

Characterisation of novel psychoactive substances (WEDINOS Project)

Use of analytical chemical methods (NMR and LCMS) to characterise new psychoactives, including 'legal highs'. This work is carried out in conjunction with Public Health Wales and Llandough Hospital Cardiff 

Current PhD students

  • Hayward, Olivia (50%)
  • Cavaliere, Alessandra


School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science

  • Dr Andrea Brancale
  • Professor Chris McGuigan
  • Dr Arwyn Jones
  • Dr Stephen Hiscox

Cardiff University

  • Dr Richard Clarkson (School of Biosciences)
  • Dr Stephen Paisey (School of Medicine)
  • Dr Alun Hutchings (Llandough Hospital)
  • Professor Thomas Wirth (School of Chemistry)


  • Professor Mark Bagley, Sussex University
  • Professor Malathy Shekhar (Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, USA)
  • Dr Stefano Fogli (University of Pisa, Italy)
  • Dr Sibel Suzen (Ankara University, Turkey)

Key expertise

  • Medicinal chemistry and drug design
  • Analytical spectroscopy (NMR, mass spectrometry)

Current research funding

  • 2012-17 Public Health Wales (Welsh Government) / NHS Wales New Psychoactive Substances Project – Action in Wales. Smith J., Caldicott D.G.E., Hutchings A., Westwell, A.D. £782,400. Contribution: lead drug analysis by NMR spectroscopy
  • 2012-15 Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship – Design and Synthesis of Molecular Inhibitors of c-FLIP Activity as a Therapeutic Strategy to Target Breast Cancer Stem Cells. Clarkson R.W.E., Brancale A., Westwell A.D., £104,662.


  • PH1122  The role of the pharmacist in professional practice
  • PH1123  Structure and function of cells and microbes
  • PH1124  Human body systems
  • PH1125  Chemical and biological properties of drug molecules
  • PH2110  Clinical & professional pharmacy
  • PH2112  Principles of drug design
  • PH3101  Optimisation of drug design
  • PH3110  Optimisation of pharmaceutical care
  • PH3202  Research methodology
  • PH4116  Pharmacy research or scholarship project
  • PH4117  Pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and the population
  • PH4118  Pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and the patient

External examiner

  • University College London, School of Pharmacy


Career profile

I graduated with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Leeds in 1990, and then completed a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the same department under the supervision of Professor Chris Rayner. Following a two-year postdoctoral position in the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Williams then Professor Chris Moody, I was appointed as a Research Fellow within the Cancer Research Laboratories at the University of Nottingham, with Professor Malcolm Stevens. I was appointed to a Cancer Research UK funded Lectureship in 2001 in the School of Pharmacy at Nottingham, and moved to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science in 2006 to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry. I was promoted to Reader in 2013.

Scientific and professional service

I am recent past-Treasurer for the British Association for Cancer Research, a charitable organisation of over 1000 cancer professionals, and have been involved in the organisation of a number of cancer research-related conferences.

Prizes / membership of professional bodies

  • Royal Society of Chemistry Malcolm Campbell memorial prize winner 2003 (with MFG Stevens and TD Bradshaw)