Drug Discovery Group

Person with purple gloves testing samples with beaker in background

Our group focuses on drug discovery and development through phenotypic screening assays rather than single-target approach. We develop and validate in vitro and in vivo phenotypic screening assays. Our in vitro cell models are mostly based on human primary cells, rather than commercially available cell lines.

Currently our group has focused on the development of novel anti-fibrotic drugs using phenotypic assay approach. While fibrosis is the causative pathology of more than 40% of mortality globally, the treatment options are limited in numbers and efficacy. Our group aims to develop novel anti-fibrotic medicines through phenotypic screening. We have developed and validated phenotypic assays amenable to high throughput screening, as well as secondary functional assays. One of our workstreams has produced two hit compounds which have been further tested and validated in in vivo models and now being taken to clinical studies.

We offer these assays to external groups and organisations; we will be happy to test your lead/candidate compounds/molecules. We are also open to discussion around development of novel phenotypic assays for fibrosis or other indications with unmet need.
Please contact selim.cellek@anglia.ac.uk for more information.


Prof Selim Cellek, Group Leader
Dr Marcus Ilg

Current doctoral students

Alice Lapthorn
Michael Carpenter

Past doctoral students

William Stebbeds
Marta Mateus


Development of phenotypic screening assay for Peyronie’s disease in collaboration with Dr David Ralph and Asif Muneer at University College London Hospital. Current stage: the assay has been developed and validated, currently screening small molecule compounds.

Development of phenotypic screening assay for burns patients in collaboration with Prof Peter Dziewulski, St Andrew Anglia Ruskin Burns and Plastic Surgery Research Unit (link to STAAR). Current stage: Assay in development.

Contact us

Prof Selim Cellek
Email: selim.cellek@anglia.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1245 684654