Chemical Biology Core Facility

Small molecules play essential roles in many areas of basic research and are often used to address important biological questions.

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Headed by a Medicinal Chemist with 20 years of Big Pharma experience
  • Staffed by experienced postdoctoral Chemists
  • Expertise in small molecule synthesis as well as in peptide, bioconjugate and exotic molecule synthesis
  • Consultation provided on all chemistry questions
  • Training provided to visitors

Facilities and services

A state-of-the-art Medicinal Chemistry Lab equipped to Industry standards:

  • 10 fumes hoods
  • Analytical UPLC-MS-ELSD system
  • Preparative HPLC-MS
  • Preparative HPLC
  • Flash Chromatography system
  • Microwave Reactor
  • H-Cube Flow Hydrogenator
  • NMR (autosampler, multinucleus)

Focus on productivity and efficiency:

  • Parallel synthesis and work-up equipment
  • Use of automated systems to save time

Provides consultancy and support in developing Chemistry strategies for projects:

  • Most Principal Investigators are not chemists and require chemistry advice and planning support to get the most out of their projects

Cost estimation for Chemistry projects as well as outsourcing advice is provided

The main lab
The main lab
Chemical Biology Core Facility Instrument room
The Instrument room


  • Optimising screening hits to generate more potent and selective tool compounds for research
  • Hit-to-Lead programs for screening hits
  • Chemistry support for target identification for phenotypic screening hits
  • Compound design and optimisation based on structural biology results
  • Small-molecule and peptide synthesis
  • De novo design of bioactive molecules
  • Hit-to-Preclinical Development using CROs
A typical fume hood for one scientist
A typical fume hood for one scientist


We have visitor hoods available for researchers who carry out the chemistry part of interdisciplinary projects at EMBL and the rest in their home labs. Full training of visitors is provided. Supervision and advice is provided by the staff chemists of the MedChem lab. Visitors have access to all lab infrastructure.