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Stephen E. Harding

Professor of Applied Biochemistry, Faculty of Science



Born: Wallasey, Wirral. Education: Wallasey Grammar and Marple Hall Grammar Schools; Pembroke College, Oxford (BA 1976; MA, 1980; DSc, 2002). Employment: Lister PostDoc, University of Bristol (1981-82); Oppenheimer Postdoc, University of Cambridge (1983-84); Supervisor (Queens College, Cambridge, 1984); University of Nottingham (84-present). Visiting Professor: Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena, (2009-2013). Awards: Royal Society of Chemistry Junior Medallist (1991); Oxford University DSc (2002); Ridder Første (Norway), 2011

Video of DSc award - November 2002; Video of Norwegian award; Wikipedia Norway list of people from Wirral.

Research Summary

Publications/Citations/H-index (Google Scholar); Publication downloads & links (Research Gate); Books (

Steve has been a Director of the NCMH (National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics) - which he founded - for 29 years, a period which has seen hydrodynamic methods (analytical ultracentrifugation, light scattering, viscometry etc.) come from almost oblivion to flourish as tools for molecular characterisation. He has published over 450 research papers and books in the fields of Biomolecular Hydrodynamics and Applied Biochemistry, with nearly 10000 citations, and an h-index (Google Scholar) of 52: his Research web pages are on In 2011 he was made a Knight of the 1st class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by King Harald of Norway for his "outstanding contribution".

Hydrodynamics: focus is on the size, shape and interactions involving large molecules of molecular weight >1000 - "macromolecules" - in solution: developing, improving and applying the methodology. Recent research highlights include the development of improved methods of getting molecular weight distributions (view), conformation (view) & interactions (view), the discovery of some sugars that behave like proteins (view & view), designing macromolecular blocks against gluten intolerance (view - "the most viewed article in BMC Biophysics") and the nature and stability of carbohydrate vaccines (view & view). Two 3-year studies are now underway, both funded by BBSRC Diet & Health Research Industry Club - DRINC (i) beta-glucan interactions responsible for cholesterol lowering & (ii) - with Dr. Bettina Wolf (lead) - on the use of novel emulsification systems for the reduction of salt and sugar levels in foods. A further 5 year study (with Dr G Adams as lead) is also underway on the macromolecular integrity of insulin analogues (supported by the Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust). Steve is a member of the prestigious "Saving Oseberg Research Group", contributing his expertise in complex carbohydrate characterisation in helping save Norway's national treasure. DNA: His other focus is on DNA - the molecule of life: trained by the man who discovered hydrogen bonds in DNA (view), he instigated the DNA survey of NW England looking at the extent of Norwegian Viking ancestry in the old population, working with colleagues at Leicester University and engaging heavily with the public & heritage organisations (view & view). Steve is a member of the University of Nottingham Centre for the Study of the Viking Age (CSVA). He was the 2010 Pfizer Lecturer at Boston and is the 2016 Hakon Hakonsson Lecturer at Largs.

Support: Steve is grateful to His Majesty's Government of Norway, EPSRC, BBSRC, GSK Vaccines and the Insulin Diabetes Trust for their generous support. Books: Stephen Hardings page and page. Collection of research lectures: Steve's series of 10 lectures from the Friedrich-Schiller Universität, Jena. KTOG Christmas Lecture 2015: Science and the Vikings

Selected Publications

School of Biosciences

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