School of Pharmacy

Image of Barrie Kellam

Barrie Kellam

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Head of School, Faculty of Science



I am a Pharmacist and gained my PhD from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Prof Barrie Bycroft. After an eighteen month postdoctoral position at the School of Pharmacy, London under the mentorship of Prof Istvan Toth I was appointed to a lectureship at Nottingham in 1997. I was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006 and full Professor in 2013.

I was the co-founder and Director of Medicinal Chemistry of a successful spin-out from the University of Nottingham, CellAura Technologies Ltd between 2006-2014.

I was a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council's (GPhC) Accreditation & Recognition Panel between 2012-2021 and I am currently chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) Science and Research Committee, helping provide strategic leadership, advocacy and expert advice around pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy research in the UK and internationally.

Teaching (Undergraduate)


PHAR1002 (Essential Skills for Pharmacy)

PHAR1003 (Dyspepsia)

PHAR2005 (Pain)

PHAR4012 (Advanced Drug Discovery)

MSci: Pharmaceutical Sciences

PHAR1020 (Synthesis of Simple Drugs)

Teaching (Postgraduate)

MSc in Drug Discovery & Pharmaceutical Sciences

PHAR4006 (Fundamentals of Drug Discovery)

PHAR4008 (Drug Discovery and Development I)

Research Summary

My academic research is focussed around small molecule synthetic medicinal chemistry, especially pertaining to G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), making significant scientific and commercial… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

My academic research is focussed around small molecule synthetic medicinal chemistry, especially pertaining to G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), making significant scientific and commercial contributions in this area. Developing an international reputation in fluorescent small molecule ligand synthesis through a highly productive collaborative programme with Prof Steve Hill in applying fluorescent-based technologies to characterise and interrogate ligand-receptor interactions for a number of class A GPCRs in living cells; leading to development of novel high-throughput fluorescence-based assays for identification of new medicinal agents.

This also allowed single-cell pharmacological measurements to be undertaken in primary cells, with publications in PNAS, FASEB, Chemistry & Biology and J Med Chem highlighting our successes. Patents generated from this work formed background IP to leverage equity-based investment to spin out CellAura Technologies Ltd. In 2006.

I have led the medicinal chemistry component in drug discovery programmes, e.g. a £2.8M funded Seeding Drug Discovery programme from the Wellcome Trust. Over a 2-year period we synthesised over 1500 novel compounds as part of a focussed lead optimisation programme for future treatment of patients with concomitant cardiovascular and respiratory disease. From a highly selective β1-adrenoceptor partial agonist 'hit', structure optimisation generated a suite of high affinity pure antagonists, with improved selectivity over other β-adrenoceptor subtypes. We generated three drug candidate series, all displaying good oral bioavailability, pronounced β1mediated reduction of heart rate with no β2-mediated side-effects. These compounds possessed excellent disposition properties without adverse toxicology.

All of the studies above have necessitated a joined-up approach using in silico and traditional synthetic medicinal chemistry methods to help reach fruition and have provided a highly varied environment to help train over 40 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

In my academic career, I have published over 80 scientific papers and patents, supervised 36 PhD students and mentored 10 postdoctoral fellows; many of whom are now in senior positions within the pharmaceutical industry or academia.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Science and Research Committee

School of Pharmacy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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