School of Life Sciences

Image of Boyan Bonev

Boyan Bonev

Professor of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Dr Bonev read Physics at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and obtained his PhD in Physics from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, under the supervision of Mike Morrow. He lectured in Physics and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in solid state NMR at Memorial. Dr Bonev worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Biochemistry Department, University of Oxford, UK with Tony Watts. He also tutored at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He took a position as Lecturer in Biochemistry at the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, and is presently an Associate Professor in Biophysics and Structural Biology at the School of Life Sciences, Nottingham.

Dr Bonev heads the Biomembrane NMR labs at Nottingham and is a co-Director of the Dynamic Nuclear Magnetization Facility at Nottingham. He is also a member of the HPC Midlands Plus Implementation Board.

Dr Bonev has served on BBSRC committee D, EPSRC Peer Review College, MRC Panel on Antimicrobial Resistance and the BSAC Drug Discovery and Development Committee. Presently, he is the Chair of a Diamond Review Panel and a member of the STFC Life Sciences and Soft Materials Panel.

Expertise Summary

nuclear magnetic resonance

membrane biophysics

computational biology

structural biology

antibiotic resistance

drug development

Teaching Summary

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Structural Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Research Summary

The focus of research in my group is on investigations of the molecular mechanisms, which underpin the recognition and disruption of plasma membranes by protein and peptide antibiotics and toxins.… read more

Selected Publications

In the Bonev lab we study the structure, function and assembly of biological membranes. We use solid state NMR and other biophysical tools in combination with high performance computing to engineer molecules with desired biological functions and pharmacological properties. The lab also studies the bacterial envelope - peptidoglycan synthesis and inhibition, outer membranes and lipopolysaccharides (LPS), as well as bacterial cytoskeleton.

The lab does in-house solid state NMR analysis and co-hosts the DNP NMR Facility, high-performance GPU computer modelling, molecular cloning combined with biochemical and functional analysis. We work in close collaboration with a number of industrial and academic partners.

Current Research

The focus of research in my group is on investigations of the molecular mechanisms, which underpin the recognition and disruption of plasma membranes by protein and peptide antibiotics and toxins. The design of effective and safe biologically active compounds relies on knowledge of the atomic details form such protein-target or peptide-target interactions. A range of biophysical techniques including modern solid state NMR, electron microscopy and neutron reflectivity is used to investigate protein-lipid, protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, as well as the structure of peptides in their bioactive form on the target membranes.I am particularly interested in the recognition of membrane-associated bacterial cell wall intermediates by antibiotics, which inhibit bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. One such example is the interaction between bacterial lantibiotic nisin from Lactococcus lactis and its target, membrane-associated Lipid II (also targeted by vancomycin).

Past Research

Lipid phases; high-pressure NMR; toxins;

Future Research

We develop:

antibiotic systems for the control of bacteria, resistant to traditional chemotherapy;

mechanisms for rapid detection and preliminary identification of bacteria;

We investigate:

the structure and folding of membrane proteins, specifically, of bacterial outer membrane proteins;

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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