The Target Discovery Institute (TDI) is a major new collaborative research initiative led by the Nuffield Professor of Medicine, Professor Peter Ratcliffe, FRS. Strategic investment through the Department and collaborative use of existing research resources from the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, the Department of Oncology, specifically the Radiation and Oncology Unit, the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Structural Genomics Consortium enabled the Target Discovery Institute High Throughput Screening Facility (TDI HTS) to operate for two years before the institute was fully established in the new NDM Research Building. The TDI now encompasses several groups including Chemical Biology, Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry and Medicinal Chemistry.
The Institute investigates drug target discovery across various diseases drawing on the expertise of the research staff on the Campus, Medical Science Division and wider University capitalizing on existing strengths in genetics and genomic medicine, molecular and cell biology, structural biology, chemistry, pharmacology and medicine. There has been very strong support for this initiative from the University's centre and Division.
A drug target is a molecule or molecular interaction at a critical point in a disease-causing pathway that is predicted to being amenable to therapeutic manipulation. The centre aims to link recent advances in genetics, genomics and cell and chemical biology for improved drug target discovery. A more specific focus for refining and validating such targets will provide a better link between traditional "open ended" academic processes to biomedical research and the need of the pharmaceutical industry for accurately defined targets for drug development.