UCL School of Pharmacy


Professor Frank Kozielski

Professor of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry

Tel: 020 7753 5879

Research interests

  • Kinesins as potential targets for drug development in cancer chemotherapy
  • Development of resistance to antimitotic agents
  • Structure-based drug design
  • Structure and function of the kinesin-1 complex

Teaching interests

  • Current teaching on the Msc Drug Discovery and MPharm course, teacher
  • The mitotic spindle as an oncology target. I. Tublin targeting agents.
  • Kinesin targeting drugs
  • Drug-like properties I & II, teacher

Current collaborations and partnerships

  • Development and mechanism of action of Eg5-targeting drugs. Steve Rosenfeld, Cleveland, USA; Simon Mackay, University Strathclyde, Scotland; Dimitrios Skoufias, Institute de Biologie Structurale, Grenoble, France
  • Structure and function of the kinesin-1 complex. David Hackney, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
  • Identification, characterisation and improvement of drugs that target mitotic kinesins, potential targets for drug development in cancer chemotherapy and other diseases. A variety of national and international collaborations


  • Diploma work in Chemistry/Biochemistry, University of Hamburg, Germany / University of Sevilla, Spain, 1993
  • PhD in Chemistry (Structural Biology), University of Hamburg, Max-Planck
  • Working Groups for Structural Biology, Germany, 1997

Prof Frank Kozielski


UCL School of Pharmacy
29-39 Brunswick Square


  • Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemical Biology
    SoP Pharmaceutical & Bio Chemistry
    UCL School of Pharmacy

Joined UCL


Research Themes

Kinesins form a superfamily of proteins that fulfil key roles in intracellular transport and cell division. They use the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to transport a variety of cargos directionally along microtubules but are also involved at crucial phases of the eukaryotic cell cycle, including bipolar spindle formation, chromosome congression, anaphase and cytokinesis. We are examining human kinesins and their associated proteins:


- Discovery, characterisation and development of small molecule inhibitors targeting human kinesins implicated in different diseases.


- Determination of kinesin-inhibitor complexes for subsequent structure-based design.


- Elucidation of the mechanism of action of kinesin-targeting drugs.


- Understanding the development of resistance against kinesin-targeting drugs, in vitro, in cell-based assays and ultimately in vivo.


- As a new area of research we aim to investigate kinesins involved in neurodegenerative diseases and viral transport.

Award year Qualification Institution
2006 HAB
Structural Biology
Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble
Doctor of Natural Sciences
Universitat Hamburg

Frank studied Chemistry at the University Hamburg, Germany and the University Sevilla, Spain. He received his PhD from Hamburg University while working at the Max-Planck Working Groups for Structural Biology at Deutsches Elektron-Synchrotron (DESY) on the elucidation of the functional kinesin dimer. After his PhD he moved to France where he worked for 10 years at the French Atomic Commission (CEA) on human kinesins. In 2007 he joined the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, as a senior group leader and became professor at Glasgow Medical School. He was responsible for setting up the structural biology department used by several goups. In 2013 Frank was appointed Chair in Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry at the UCL School of Pharmacy in London. His current research interests involve members of the kinesin superfamily as potential targets for drug development.