Key Research Interests and Expertise

I am interested in the structural basis for the molecular interactions which underpin biological processes. My group employs techniques in structural, molecular and computational biology to study fundamental problems in mechanistic enzymology and molecular recognition. I am particularly interested in the question of bacterial survival (life – respiration and uptake of nutrients, particularly metals; and death – production of cytotoxic proteins). The aim of this research is to provide insights into how the structures of bacterial proteins and their complexes with ligands and substrates (e.g. RNA/DNA, metal ions and sugars) determine the likelihood of survival of the bacterium. The group forms part of the UEA Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry (CMSB) and has particular expertise in studies of metal and cofactor-rich proteins.

Current Research Projects

  • Interactions of commensal bacteria with the gut
  • Structural biology of plant biosynthetic enzymes
  • Phytase structural enzymology and engineering

Life in our research group

We are based on the second floor of the School of Biological Sciences and form a part of the larger grouping of biological chemists and biochemists working within the Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry. The research environment is excellent and we have access to a wide range of facilities either within the School, nearby in the University or elsewhere on the Norwich Research Park. We collect X-ray scattering and diffraction data at synchrotrons in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and beyond on a regular basis. We also collaborate widely and our work is multidisciplinary. This means that we have a wide range of literature to screen and we keep up to date with scientific developments by attending research seminars and international meetings.

Research Studentships

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Biological Sciences.

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Chemistry.

But feel free to email me to discuss PhD, MPhil and MRes opportunities and and alternative sources of funding.

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