About Us

The Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, founded in 1927, is a leading Oxford department investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease.

The Sir William Dunn School of Pathology (or Dunn School) has a spectacular history. Our research has saved millions, if not billions, of lives. The development of the first antibiotic, penicillin, ranks among the top medical discoveries of all time, and was the subject of a Nobel Prize in 1945, but we have never rested on those laurels. Other milestones include understanding the cellular basis of the immune system, discovery of the world’s most prescribed antibiotic class (the cephalosporins), the development of recombinant Factor IX as a treatment for certain types of haemophilia, new types of influenza vaccine (given to millions of people worldwide), and immune treatments to prevent transplant rejection against multiple sclerosis.

Despite these achievements, we believe our best research is still to come.

Our state-of-the-art biomedical research facilities are located in the centre of Oxford’s thriving South Parks Science area. Over 300 scientists from more than 30 countries work in a collaborative setting to uncover the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie human health and disease. Research excellence is our main goal, and we invest in a supportive, inclusive and diverse environment, which is essential for the best science and scientists to thrive.

Our ambition to transform human health drives our primary strategy of scientific excellence, but also underlies our research-led teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students. This strategy depends on three main elements:


  • People

Recruit the emerging stars in biomedical research, and provide them with exceptional resources, mentoring and support to achieve their full potential. This occurs at all career levels, from undergraduate and graduate students, through postdoctoral researchers, and to supporting professors as they become global leaders.


  • Culture

Build a collegiate, inclusive and interactive environment where everyone can draw on the experience and support of others and reach their full potential.

The Dunn School continuously looks to the future. Our ambitions are driven both by our extraordinary history and by our scientists’ passionate belief that the best is yet to come. We aim to make the next 100 years even better than the last.


  • Facilities

Invest in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, as well as in-house technique development. This powers the research of our scientists, accelerating their progress towards understanding the causes of disease and the development of future therapeutic strategies.