Professor Garrett Morris

Associate Professor of Systems Approaches to Biomedicine

Biographical Sketch

Professor Morris began as an Oxford undergraduate Chemist, completing his Part II and DPhil with W. Graham Richards in molecular modelling and graphical protein sequence analysis. In 1991 he moved to The Scripps Research Institute, California, to work on developing the protein-ligand dockingsoftware, AutoDock. In 2000 he helped to launch the first biomedical volunteer computing project, FightAIDS@Home, which spawned other biomedical projects on IBM’s World Community Grid. He moved back to the UK in 2008 to work in the Oxford spinout, InhibOx (now Oxford Drug Design), doing ‘real-world’ drug discovery, where he co-supervised SABS CDT students, developed novel virtual screening methods, and spearheaded the use of cloud computing. He later worked at another Oxford spinout, Crysalin, developing novel protein engineering techniques for reliable protein crystallization.

He is now an Associate Professor and works closely with Prof Deane in the Department of Statistics in the Oxford Protein Informatics Group (OPIG). Like Charlotte, he is also Programme Co-Director for the EPSRC & MRC SABS CDT (Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science Centre for Doctoral Training), which as renewed in 2019 as the ESPRC & MRC Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research Centre for Doctoral Training, or EPSRC & MRC SABS R3 CDT. In September 2019, he was made Deputy Director of Graduate Studies here in the Department of Statistics.

Research Interests

I am interested in the application of statistical methods and software development in computer-aided drug discovery, chiefly in high throughput docking, ligand-based virtual screening, network pharmacology and systems chemical biology, cheminfomatics, bioinformatics. I am particularly interested in the applications of machine learning, including active learning, deep learning, and Bayesian optimization


Klarner, L., Rudner, T. and Morris, G. (2023) “Drug discovery under covariate shift with domain-informed prior distributions over functions”, in Krause, A., Brunskill, E., Cho, K., Engelhardt, B., Sabato, S., and Scarlett, J. (eds.). Journal of Machine Learning Research, pp. 17176–17197.
Buttenschoen, M., Morris, G. and Deane, C. (2023) “PoseBusters: AI-based docking methods fail to generate physically valid poses or generalise to novel sequences.”
Klarner, L., Rudner, T., Reutlinger, M., Schindler, T., Morris, G., Deane, C. and Teh, Y. (2023) “Drug Discovery under Covariate Shift with Domain-Informed Prior Distributions over Functions.”

Contact Details

Affiliations: Co-Director of the EPSRC & MRC Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science Centre for Doctoral Training and EPSRC Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research Centre for Doctoral Training

Research Fellow at Green Templeton College

Deputy Director of Graduate Studies

Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Bioinformatics: Drug Discovery in Bioinformatics


Telephone: +44 1865 281770

Office number: 2.15

Pronouns: He/Him

Graduate Students

  • An Goto (SABS, Clarendon Scholar)
  • Leo Klarner (SABS, Clarendon Scholar)
  • Markus Dablander (InFoMM)
  • Martin Buttenschoen (Stats DPhil)
  • Ísak Valsson (Stats DPhil)
  • Jesse Murray (SABS, Clarendon Scholar)
  • Dan Lesman (Stats MRes)
  • Kamen Petrov (MChem Part II)