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Personal profile


2005-present: Professor of Molecular Enzymology, Faculty of Life Sciences (University of Manchester)

2003-2005: Professor of Biochemistry (University of Leicester)

2002-2003: Reader in Enzymology (University of Leicester)

2001-2002: Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry (University of Leicester)

1999-2001: Lecturer in Pure and Applied Chemistry/Biosciences (University of Strathclyde), and Royal Society of Edinburgh CRF Research Fellow

1996-1998: Royal Society of Edinburgh CRF Research Fellow (Department of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh)

1991-1995: Postdoctoral Researcher (Department of Biochemistry, University of Glasgow)

1991: PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen

1987: BSc (Hons), Biochemistry, University of Aberdeen


Awards and Professional Roles

Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow (2005-2006)

Royal Society of Edinburgh Caledonian Research Foundation Research Fellow (1996-1999)

Darwin Trust Research Fellow (1998)

Honorary Research Fellowship (University of Edinburgh) (1999-2002)

Editor for Biochemical Journal (2003-2011)

Editor for Journal of Biological Chemistry (2008-)

Editor for Biophysical Chemistry (2004-)


Committee Member, BBSRC Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Molecules, Cells and Industrial Biotechnology Panels (2008-2010)

Funding Panel Member, Royal Society International Grants (2005-9).

Deputy Chair, Biochemistry Theme Panel VI (Biotechnology and Bioinformatics)

Committee member, Inorganic Biochemistry Discussion Group (2007-)

External Course Examiner, Department of Biosciences (Biochemistry, Biology and Forensic Biology), University of Kent (2006-2011)


Research interests

My research is in the area of Molecular Enzymology - i.e. the characterization of structure, function and mechanism of enzymes with important biological and/or biotechnological roles. I have particular interest in the analysis of cofactor-binding proteins; particularly flavoproteins and the heme-binding cytochrome P450 enzymes. I am a member of the Molecules to Cells (M2C) section of the Faculty of Life Sciences, and my research group is based in the new Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (MIB): A Research Institute at the interface between Biology and the Chemical/Physical sciences. My major research areas of interest are detailed below, and research is sponsored by a variety of agencies including the BBSRC, EU, MRC, Industry and Leverhulme Trust.



Research in my laboratory focuses on enzymes (nature's catalysts) relevant to human health/biotechnology. Current projects include human enzymes involved in apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death by which an organism develops normally - but which also fails to function normally in cancers) and in microRNA synthesis (microRNAs are novel molecules pivotal for regulating protein synthesis, and implicated in several human diseases). This research aims to understand the structure and function of target enzymes in order to enable therapeutic strategies. Another major programme of research relates to characterization of drug target enzymes in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (which causes TB). We are investigating several enzymes involved in e.g. use of host cholesterol for bacterial survival in infected patients, and in reactions crucial to the synthesis of the bacterial membrane. Work aims to understand target enzyme structure and to develop novel drugs to inhibit them – with multidrug resistant TB now a “global emergency” (World Health Organization). Other biotechnologically orientated research exploits enzymes termed cytochromes P450 (P450s) to generate high value chemicals, using the exquisite ability of P450s to insert oxygen atoms at precise positions in relevant molecules. Research is supported by both UK research council and industrial sponsors.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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