Chemical intervention of human diseases is still a considerable challenge despite the efforts of many pharmaceutical research efforts. In recent years, the significant improvement in both computational and robotics power has allowed the development of high-throughput screening programmes to identify new drug candidates. However, the best outcomes are often the result of specialised knowledge in particular biological processes and systems that steams from academic laboratories in the first instance. Our long standing expertise on protein phosphatases has given us the opportunity to exploit this knowledge and to engage in a number of very exciting drug-discovery programmes. We select protein targets that play critical roles in either cancer development or infectious diseases and combine experimental and computational screening with structure-based drug design to produce new drug candidates for preclinical trials.