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Alex Baldwin  PhD, BSc (Hons), CChem, MRSC

Dr Alex Baldwin

PhD, BSc (Hons), CChem, MRSC

Research Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry

School of Biosciences

+44 29225 11078
Main Building, Room 2.44, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


Alex Baldwin is a Research Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry and project leader at the Medicines Discovery Institute. The institute aims to translate new discoveries in disease mechanisms into developing novel therapeutics, with a particular focus on neurodegeneration, mental health and cancer areas. Alex is leading medicinal chemistry and multidisciplinary project teams across Cardiff and industry collaborators to drive optimised drug candidates to treat diseases of significant unmet clinical need.

Alex has over 10 years of drug discovery experience, primarily in the neuroscience field. His research portfolio includes a number of different types of drug targets (kinases, receptors and ion channels) covering a range of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease), psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, generalised anxiety disorder) and genetic disorders (Fragile X syndrome, Niemann-Pick disease type C). He has considerable expertise in all phases of preclinical drug discovery, from target identification/validation and hit-to-lead through to early and late-stage multi-parameter lead optimisation.











Alex's research interests lie in translational drug discovery and he is driven by a strong desire to make a significant difference to patients and their families lives by developing novel drug candidates (either best-in-class or first-in-class) for clinical development. He is engaged in several medicinal chemistry programmes, leading multidisciplinary teams across Cardiff and with industrial collaborators.

He is also involved in early-stage projects at MDI, in particular the development of LIM kinase (LIMK) PROTACs as a novel approach to treat LIMK pathologies.

Active projects:

  • Developing novel lysosomal modulators to treat neurodegenerative disorders (in collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals)
  • Discovery of novel LIMK1 inhibitors and LIMK PROTACs for the treatment of Fragile X syndrome
  • Proof-of-concept for α5-GABAAR PAMs in the treatment of psychosis

Current drug discovery portfolio:

  • α5-GABAAR NAMs for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with Huntington's disease
  • Anxioselective GABAAR modulators for the treatment of anxiety disorders
  • PROTAC molecules targeting METTL3 for cancer
  • Boron-based NLRP3 inhibitors for the treatment of neuroinflammation associated with Alzheimer's disease (in collaboration with Dementia Consortium)
  • Fenamate NSAIDs as NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors to treat Alzheimer's disease
  • Novel dehydroacetic acid derivatives as improved antimicrobial agents


Alex has a BSc (with Honours) in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry from University of Exeter and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from The University of Manchester, under the supervision of Dr. Sally Freeman and Prof. David Brough. His PhD research focused on discovery and development of a novel class of boron-based inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome, an exciting therapeutic target implicated in a wide range of diseases including gout, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

In 2018, Alex joined the Medicines Discovery Institute as a postdoctoral research associate where he designed and synthesised complex target molecules on a variety of CNS drug discovery projects. Alex grew his research portfolio during this period and is associated with a number of successful medicinal chemistry programmes, including α5-GABAAR modulators for the treatment of schizophrenia and cognitive impairment associated with Huntington's disease.

Alex was promoted to Research Fellow in 2023 where he currently leads a medicinal chemistry team dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics for CNS disorders in a £2.8 million collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals. He is also leading a programme developing LIMK1 inhibitors and LIMK PROTACs for Fragile X syndrome.

Alex has received Chartered Chemist status and is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC).

Research themes


  • Translational Drug Discovery
  • Medicinal and biomolecular chemistry
  • Organic chemistry