Drug Discovery Centre

Our work centres on discovering new anti-cancer therapeutics and supporting personalised medicine for children with cancer.

Head, Drug Discovery Centre

What we do

Established in 2010, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Drug Discovery Centre supports Australian drug discovery research, providing the cancer and medical research community with access to advanced technology and expertise in high-throughput chemical small molecule screening.

The Centre has established strong collaborations with leading cancer and medical research groups throughout Australia and New Zealand. It plays a pivotal role in partnerships with the Commonwealth government’s Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre (CTx) and the Zero Childhood Cancer ProgramAustralia’s only personalised medicine program for children with cancer.

In 2020, our Drug Discovery Centre expanded to incorporate an exciting new drug discovery initiative called ‘THerapeutic INnovations for Kids’ (THINK). THINK is an end-to-end drug discovery and development capability dedicated to generating new therapies for rapid clinical application in children with cancer.

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Equipment and technology

The Drug Discovery Centre houses a sophisticated array of automation equipment and technology, using an advanced data management system to integrate biological assay data with chemical compound information.

Chemical compound libraries:

  • 320,000 diverse novel compounds with drug and lead-like characteristics accessed through the ALIDC consortium (www.alidc.com.au). CCI is a founding member of ALIDC.
  • 3,840 known bioactives and FDA-approved drugs
  • 394 kinase inhibitors
  • 99 epigenetic modulators
  • 285 targeted agents
  • 114 FDA-approved oncology drugs

Other equipment:

  • instrumentation for high throughput liquid handling/detection and high content screening
  • automated high-content imaging workstations (based on the Perkin Elmer Opera and Operetta imagers)
  • cutting-edge liquid handling equipment (Labcyte Echo 550 and Access workstation; Perkin Elmer cell::explorer and ASCD workstations; Hamilton MicroLab STAR)
  • plate readers (Perkin Elmer EnVision, and EnSpire; Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5)
  • Tecan HPD300 Digital Dispenser
  • plate washers (Biotek ELx405)
  • liquid dispensers (Thermo Multidrop 384, Multidrop Combi, and Combi nL)
  • extensive data management system (IDBS ActivityBase™ and Perkin Elmer Columbus)

THINK - Drug discovery and development

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There is a critical need to accelerate the development and delivery of new treatments for children with cancer. To meet this need, we have established THerapeutic INnovations for Kids (THINK). Building on the Centre’s existing drug discovery expertise, THINK will follow up the ‘chemical starting points’ generated by our drug screening program with hit-to-lead and lead optimisation − additional steps needed to deliver molecules that are ready to enter clinical trials. In this way, THINK represents an integrated pipeline of technologies, capabilities and expertise that spans all stages of the drug discovery and development pathway.


Head, Drug Discovery Centre

Head of Drug Discovery,
THerapeutic INnovations for Kids (THINK)

Facility Manager, High Throughput Screening Facility, Drug Discovery Centre

Senior Drug Discovery Officer, THerapeutic INnovations for Kids (THINK)

Director, THerapeutic 
INnovations for
Kids (THINK)

A/Prof Ian Street

Senior Drug Discovery Officer

Dr Poh Sim Khoo

Research Officers

Dr Jezrael Revalde

Dr Tin Yow

Senior Drug Discovery Research Assistant, THerapeutic INnovations for Kids (THINK)

Shu-Oi Chow

Get in touch

Do you have a question about our work? For any enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Your donation will fund research that will save young lives!