Personal profile


Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding what determines how proteins change conformation, which for example underpins such diverse events as enzyme catalysis and amyloid formation. We use a wide range of structural biology and molecular biophysics approaches, from multi-dimensional NMR, EM and X-ray crystallography to laser photolysis and rapid kinetics, to build a comprehensive picture of how proteins behave under different conditions, and how this behavior can be perturbed by therapeutics. Current projects include unraveling the multitude of steps that occur during enzyme catalysis of phosphate group transfer. Phosphate transfer is essential in almost all processes of life, which make these enzymes highly prized therapeutic targets. In parallel, we are examining the equivalent catalysis of methyl group transfer, which presents an enzyme with very different challenges. These enzymes are also high value therapeutic targets. In the protein folding-misfolding area we are currently developing methods that enable the detailed characterization of intrinsically disordered proteins, and examining how a promising biotherapeutic for the treatment of a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders is causing amyloid removal. All of these projects are supported through funding from UK research councils and the Pharma sector.


2016-present: Professor (School of Chemistry, University of Manchester)

2008-2016: Professor (Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester)

1999-present: Professor (Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield)

1997-1999: Reader (Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield)

1996-1997: Senior Lecturer (Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield)

1990-1996: Krebs InstituteLectureship (Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield)

1987-1990: Postdoctoral Researcher (Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA)

1986-1987: Postdoctoral Researcher (Department of Computer Modelling, SmithKline French, Welwyn, UK)

1987: PhD, Chemistry, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

1983: BSc (Hons), Chemistry, Grey College, University of Durham

Prizes and awards

Gibson Professor of Biophysics (2009-present)

Lister Institute Research Fellow (1996-2002)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

External Course Examiner, Department of Biochemistry (MSc Biophysics), University of Bristol (2014-2018)

Scientific Advisory Committee, The Lister Institute (2011-2017)

Committee Member, Advisory Committee for the MRC Biomedical NMR Centre (2004-2017)

Funding Panel Member, Royal Society International and Commonwealth Grants (2011-2016)

European Commission Expert Assessor (2012)

Committee Member, Wellcome Trust Capital Awards Panel (2008)

Committee Member, Wellcome Trust Molecular & Cell, and Molecules, Genes & Cells Panels (2002-2006)

Member of MRC Advisory Board (1998-2005)

Member of EPSRC Peer Review College (2000-2003)

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

  • Dementia@Manchester
  • Biotechnology
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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