Demystifying biomolecular complexity

Here we answer the core question: why is something working, and why is it having a beneficial impact? We use our state-of-the-art equipment to understand why biomolecular structures behave the way they do. From our analysis of blood-clotting disorders to looking at the intricacies of high-value spider web silk production, our leading-edge insight into biomolecular complexity provides important learnings.  

The understanding of biological processes at a molecular level and the design, generation and evaluation of compounds that probe and report on these processes or interfere with their occurrence requires a multidisciplinary approach involving biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacology, molecular and structural biology.

Our research into structural biology aims to understand biological processes and applied research in the areas of target identification. We do this by determining protein structures and studying the structure/function of complexes formed with drugs and natural ligands using protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and associated techniques.

We research into the genetics, pharmacogenetics, and molecular pathophysiology basis of respiratory diseases, in particular asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), that often lead to tissue remodelling resulting in fibrosis.  With respect to our gastrointestinal focussed research, our focus is on the human bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori. We aim to understand how bacterial virulence factors interact with host cells to provoke a more severe inflammatory response.

Researchers within the Division of Biomolecular Science and Medicinal Chemistry within the Structural Biology GroupSchool of Pharmacy undertake pioneering research, using macromolecular X-ray crystallography, in understanding the molecular basis of disease with a particular interest in structural studies of platelet receptors and blood coagulation factors. Within the Division of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, our research focuses on the genetics, pharmacogenetics, molecular pathophysiology in obstructive lung diseases (Asthma/COPD), fibrotic lung diseases (IPF, LAM), and infective lung diseases (cystic fibrosis, pneumonia). Our translational research includes the identification of biomarkers of disease and imaging. Also within Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) is based within the Queen’s Medical Centre with the aim of taking the most promising basic biomedical research breakthroughs and translating them into patient benefit with a focus on infection and inflammation within the gut.

Research project highlights

The Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node (NMPN) is one of 6 nodes funded by the MRC and EPSRC to develop molecular pathology tests which will help deliver better targeted, more effective treatments - known as 'stratified medicine' - across a wide range of disease areas.

The Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) focusses on identifying and taking rapid advantage of new developments in the basic sciences and translating these into clinical practice. We do this by driving innovation in experimental science and translate research into breakthrough treatments, new technologies and advanced medicines. 

Our researchers

Search the table below to find out more about our researchers. You are able to filter the table by searching for names, keywords, and techniques.

Full list of our researchers
NameResearch keywordsResearch techniques
Kenton Arkill Vascular permeability, endothelial glycocalyx, electron microscopy, correlative microscopy techniques     Functional permeability assays, 3D TEM, correlative microscopy techniques
Jennifer Ashworth Biomaterials, fibrosis, cancer research, 3D in vitro models, imaging tissue 3D cell culture, biomaterials design and fabrication, primary cell/ organoid culture, confocal imaging, micro-CT analysis
Steve Atkinson Yersinia pestis, plague, black death, molecular genetic pathways, antibiotic resistance Plague insect infection, soil infection, molecular genetics of plague
Dave Bates Angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, cholangiocarcinoma, renal glomerular physiology, diabetes In vivo imaging, RNA splicing, molecular and cellular biology, drug discovery
Andrew Benest Endothelial cells, lymphatics, angiogenesis, vasculature, transcription factors  Transcriptomic, in vivo modelling, confocal imaging
Tracey D Bradshaw Cancer, pharmacology, drug discovery, apoferritin, molecular mechanisms Tissue culture, cell biology, MTT, western blot, flow cytometry
Lee Buttery 3D cell models, stem cells, osteoblasts, cell-materials interactions, tissue engineering    3D and ES cell culture, osteoblast culture, immunocytochemistry, optical tweezers for cell biology
Miguel Camara Biofilms, quorum sensing, antimicrobials, microbial gene regulation, antimicrobial target discovery Biofilm model design, biofilm imaging, bacterial transcriptomics, bioreporter design, HTP antimicrobial testing
Weng Chan Antibiotic discovery, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, anti-virulence, peptide chemistry Solid-phase peptide synthesis, organic synthesis, in vitro microbial assay, drug design
Rachel Clifford   Respiratory, Epigenetics, Transcriptional regulation, DNA methylation, inhaled exposures Primary cell culture, methylomics, histone modification analysis, transcriptomics, molecular biology
Lodewijk V. Dekker Drug discovery, cancer, thrombosis, protein kinase, protein interactions   Biochemical assays, cellular assays, enzyme assays, assay development, high throughput screening
Chris Denning Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), heart/ cardiovascular disease, drug discovery and evaluation, regenerative medicine        Cardiovascular lineage differentiation, CRISPR engineering, phenotype-genotype correlations, automation
Ingrid Dreveny Proteases in the ubiquitin system, protein structure, structure-aided drug design, enzyme specificity, proteins in biotechnology Macromolecular X-ray crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry, biochemistry, protein engineering
Lindy Durrant Cancer immunotherapy, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, T cells, post-translational modifications Production of antibodies, vaccine design, cancer animal models, T cell assays, ELISA
Isioma U. Egbuniwe Bile duct cancer, tumour microenvironment, T and B cells, lymphatics, digital pathology      Primary cell isolation and culture, multi-parameter flow cytometry, 3D tumour-immune cell co-culture systems, histopathology, image analysis
Jonas Emsley Structural biology, protein crystallography, protease structure, receptor structure, drug development Protein crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry, surface plasmon resonance, molecular docking
Mattea Finelli Neurodegenerative diseases, redox mechanisms, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, proteomics, post-translational modifications of proteins      Quantitative/ redox/ PTMs proteomics, cell- and recombinant protein-based assays, stem cell derived disease models, various cell cultures (cortical, cerebellar, hippocampal, DRG, motor neurons)
Hester Franks Cancer, immunotherapy, macrophages, tumour microenvironment, melanoma Primary immune cell isolation and culture, flow cytometry, RNAScope
Kevin Gaston Cancer, gene regulation, transcription, cell biology, protein-DNA interactions      RNA sequencing, ChIP sequencing, cell migration assays, cell viability assays, EMSA
Amanda Goodwin Fibrosis, development, lung repair In vitro cell stretch (Flexcell), G protein knockdown studies, TMLC assays (TGFbeta signalling assay), ECM crossover studies
Anna Grabowska Cancer models, tumour microenvironment, target validation, drug screening, drug delivery  Cancer modelling, 3D tissue culture, quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry
Andrew Green Breast cancer, molecular pathology, glutamine metabolism, genotype, phenotype     Immunohistochemistry, tissue microarrays (TMAs), laser microdissection, gene expression profiling, in situ hybridisation
Nicholas Hannan Stem cells, disease modelling, respiratory disease, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease         Stem cell differentiation, cell phenotyping, gene editing, CRISPR base editing, organoids
Stephan Heeb Bacterial infections, virulence, quorum sensing, gene expression, antimicrobial strategies      Bacterial genomics, RNA-Seq, RNA-protein interactions, construction of bacterial vectors
Andrew Jackson Cancer, immunotherapy, dendritic Cells (DC), T-cells, signalling       Isolation of rare primary leukocyte subsets, flow cytometry, small molecule kinase inhibitors, multi-cellular immune culture systems
Sheela Jayaraman Gene expression, chromatin, PRH/ HHEX, cell signalling, transcriptomics         RNAseq, western blotting, subcloning, chromatin immunoprecipitation
Jennie Jeyapalan Epigenomics, prostate cancer, transcriptional regulation, splicing Genomics, RNA seq analysis, molecular biology, cell culture
Barrie Kellam Medicinal chemistry, fluorescent ligands, G protein-coupled receptors, drug discovery       Medicinal chemistry, molecular modelling, biospectroscopy, HPLC, fluorescence Imaging
Laura Kilpatrick Molecular pharmacology, G protein coupled receptors, receptor tyrosine kinases, signalling complexes, protein-protein interactions   Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence imaging, pharmacological assays
Charlie Laughton Biomolecular structure,   molecular recognition, drug design, formulation design,   molecular dynamics       Molecular dynamics simulations, protein structure prediction, virtual screening, machine learning, software development
Srinvasan Madhusudan Medical oncology, clinical trials, breast cancer, DNA repair therapeutics, drug discovery       DNA repair assays, immunohistochemical techniques, clinical trial methodologies
Anna Malecka Cancer, immunology, macrophages, comparative oncology, immune-stromal interactions Flow cytometry, stroma-Immune co-culture system, cell culture
Stewart Martin Breast, brain and ovarian cancer, radiotherapy, metastasis, novel drugs, redox homeostasis, calpain proteases      Radiation biology, immunohistochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Alan McIntyre Cancer, hypoxia (low oxygen), acidosis, transcription, epigenetics, angiogenesis CRISPR CAS9, RNA-SEQ, ChIP, tumour cell phenotype assays, hypoxia and acidosis investigations
Cathy Merry Matrix biology, cancer research, disease modelling, glycobiology   Glycobiology, hydrogel development, stem cell culture and differentiation, matrix biology, in vitro disease models
Shailesh N. Mistry Drug discovery, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), allosteric modulators          Medicinal chemistry, compound purification, spectroscopic analysis, ligand/ structure-based drug discovery
Abhik Mukarjee Digital/ molecular pathology, gastrointestinal and pancreaticobiliary cancers, translational therapeutics, inflammatory bowel disease Histopathology and immunohistochemistry, digital pathology and image analyses, molecular pathology, functional biology
Ellis O'Neil Natural products, algal biotechnology, biotransformation     Analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, protein expression and purification, genome mining
Emad Rakha Breast cancer, pathology, classification, prognosis, digital pathology, AI, predictive and prognostic markers        Digital pathology, immunohistochemistry, image analysis
Timothy Ritzmann Childhood brain tumours, brain tumour immunity, childhood cancer, ependymoma, cancer recurrence     RNA-sequencing, multiplex immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, clinical data analysis, childhood brain tumour clinical trials
Ian Sayers Molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, virus-host interactions, stratified medicine Gene discovery, primary airway cell and tissue models, functional genetics, transcriptomics, patient translational studies
Claire Seedhouse Blood cancers, drug resistance, stem cells, dormancy, functional consequences of mutations Quantitative PCR, flow cytometry, primary suspension cultures
Philippe Soucaille Metabolic engineering, systems biology, synthetic biology, microbial physiology – CO2 fixation Enzyme evolution, bacterial genome editing, fluxomics, proteomics, transcriptomics
Panos Soultanas DNA replication, DNA repair, replication-metabolism regulation, genome stability Protein expression, purification, polymerase and helicase assays, analytical ultracentrifugation, SPR
Ian Spendlove Controlling iTreg, engineering T cells, cloning TCRs from cancer patients, cancer survivors, anti cancer antibodies.     TCR cloning/ transduction, CRISPR-Cas9 of primary leukocytes, flow sorting rare T cells, differentiating iTreg, autophagosome purification.
Michael Stocks Medicinal chemistry, drug discovery, cancer, antimicrobial resistance, prodrugs       Synthesis, drug optimisation, drug delivery, medicinal chemistry
Sarah Storr Cancer, breast cancer, DARPP-32, calpain, cell signalling     Cell culture, bioinformatics, immunohistochemistry, molecular biology, protein purification
Huw Williams NMR, molecular interactions, molecular structure, analytical, kinetics NMR, molecular interactions, solid state NMR, molecular dynamics, molecular structure
Paul Williams Quorum sensing, biofilms, bacteria, biomaterials, antimicrobial agents Bacterial genetics, bacterial culture, antimicrobial assays, quorum sensing assays, microscopy/ imaging
Mischa Zelzer Biointerfaces; biomaterials; peptide materials; hydrogels; computational material science Surface modification and analysis; polymerisation kinetics; light and enzyme responsive materials; material characterisation

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