Advancing drug discovery through high-throughput phenotypic screening

About the project

Despite the many remarkable successes of modern drug discovery, for every drug approved thousands of candidate drugs fail during the later stages of the drug discovery and development process, highlighting the inefficiency of preclinical drug discovery to predict clinical success. These limitations are brought into sharper focus when specifically considering diseases of unmet therapeutic need including many of the most common human neurological disorders.

The goals of this project are to frontload drug development failures prior to clinical development by testing drug candidates in disease-relevant human-based model systems using automated high throughput phenotypic screening technologies. Our research laboratories are equipped with the latest image-based phenotypic screening platforms, fully integrated with plate handling robotics and data analysis workflows.

Working in close collaboration with several pharmaceutical industry partners and academic groups we aim to accelerate identification of new therapeutic targets, drug candidates and drug repurposing opportunities and increase their clinical success rates.


Cancer Research UK, Brain Tumour Charity, UK Research and Innovation


Way GP, Sailem H, Shave S, Kasprowicz R, Carragher NO
Evolution and impact of high content imaging
SLAS Discov. 2023 Sep 3:S2472-5552(23)00066-7
Smer-Barreto V, Quintanilla A, Elliott RJR, Dawson JC, Sun J, Campa VM, Lorente-Macías Á, Unciti-Broceta A, Carragher NO, Acosta JC, Oyarzún DA
Discovery of senolytics using machine learning
Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 10;14(1):3445
Oprişoreanu AM, Ryan F, Richmond C, Dzekhtsiarova Y, Carragher NO, Becker T, David S, Becker CG
Drug screening in zebrafish larvae reveals inflammation-related modulators of secondary damage after spinal cord injury in mice
Theranostics. 2023 Apr 23;13(8):2531-2551
Shave S, Dawson JC, Athar AM, Nguyen CQ, Kasprowicz R, Carragher NO
Phenonaut: multiomics data integration for phenotypic space exploration
Bioinformatics. 2023 Apr 3;39(4):btad143

Primary location