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Dr Andrew D. Westwell  -  BSc(Hons) PhD MRSC


Coordinator of the School's Medicinal Chemistry Research Discipline


Research Interests 

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 



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.
  • 2011-14 Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship - Synthetic Routes to 18F-Labelled Gemcitabine and related 2’-Fluoronucleosides, Westwell A.D., McGuigan C., Bagley, M.C. £79,800
  • 2011-14 EPSRC PhD Studentship – Solid-Supported Synthetic Routes to 18F-DOPA and Analogues for PET Imaging, Wirth T., Westwell A.D., Daniels S. £57,000
  • 2011-14 Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship – Inducing Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Degradation as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy in Breast Cancer, Jones A.T., Westwell A.D., Hiscox S. £80,055
  • 2011-14 Cancer Research U.K. Centre PhD Studentship – Endocytic Trafficking Pathways in Breast Cancer Cells and the Effects of BCA2 Inhibitors, Jones A.T., Westwell A.D., Hiscox S. £41,000
  • 2010-13 Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship: Synthetic Routes to the Tumour Proliferation Biomarker FLT and ProTide Analogues for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging, Westwell, A.D., McGuigan, C. £77,069.
  • 2010-2012 Cancer Research Wales, Synthetic routes to the PET biomarker FLT and associated nucleosides.