Professor Peter Sadler FRS

Peter Sadler was one of the first researchers to investigate the chemistry of metals in medicine. Since the 1970s, he has proposed, developed and tested many metal-based drugs, some of which form the core of cancer-fighting drugs commonly used in chemotherapy. Peter has also contributed to treatments for arthritis and reagents for MRI imaging of the body.

He focused his early research on an injectable, gold-containing drug for arthritis, which led to an industrial collaboration to apply such medicines to cancer. He also made significant contributions to platinum-based anticancer drugs, including their synthesis, and subsequently used NMR techniques to examine their mode of action.

More recently, Peter has developed platinum and ruthenium drugs that can be activated — upon exposure to a pulse of light — to precisely target cancers. This has enabled a reduction in their side-effects. He is also interested in catalytic organometallic drugs that can be administered in low doses and destroy cancer cells by new mechanisms involving redox modulation, thus exploiting the defects in the power houses (mitochondria) of cancer cells.

Professional position

  • Mok Hing Yiu Distinguished Visiting Professor, The University of Hong Kong
  • Professor of Chemistry, Department Of Chemistry, University of Warwick

Subject groups

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry, inorganic, Chemistry, biological

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology

    Biochemistry and molecular biology


  • Davy Medal

    For pioneering the research field of medicinal inorganic chemistry, "Metals in Medicine", and the design of new metallodrugs with novel mechanisms of action

Professor Peter Sadler FRS
Elected 2005