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Personal profile

Overview

Rob Field is a University of East Anglia graduate (1986), where he was also awarded a PhD (1989; Dr Alan Haines) for work in carbohydrate chemistry. He went on to postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford (1989–91; Professor Sir Jack Baldwin) on the penicillin biotechnology program, followed by a period with the parasite biological chemistry team at the University of Dundee (1992–94; Professor Sir Mike Ferguson and Professor Steve Homans). He was subsequently appointed to a faculty position in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews (1994), where he was promoted through the ranks to full Professor (1999). He returned to Norwich, initially at University of East Anglia (2001-06) and latterly at the BBSRC-supported John Innes Centre (2007-19), where he applied his expertise in the chemistry of  biological systems to questions relating to the structure, metabolism and dietary potential of important plant polysaccharides, such as starch. Rob is currently President of the Chemistry-Biology Interface Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Founder and CEO of spin-out company Iceni Diagnostics. With experience spanning the physical sciences, biology and medicine, in both academia and industry, Rob joined the University for Manchester in January 2020 to lead the next phase of development of MIB, embracing academics drivers, commercial opportunities and global societal needs.   

Research interests

Research in the Field group embraces the development and exploitation of chemical principles and tools to address questions in molecular science, in the broadest sense, with a carbohydrate theme running throughout. Field’s research interests span the contemporary challenges and opportunities presented by sustainable nutrition, infectious diseases and industrial biotechnology. While the group are chemistry-driven, projects range from bacterial adhesion and infection, through plant and algal polysaccharide biochemistry and enzymology, to the development of small molecule inhibitor approaches to understand carbohydrate metabolism. Projects typically involve a mix of chemical and enzymatic synthesis, inhibitor development, protein biochemistry, structural biology, metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics analysis. From a biology perspective, the group works cross-Kingdom - plants, algae, animals, bacteria, viruses and parasitic protozoa – which inevitably requires collaboration to ensure relevance and impact.

Prizes and awards

Royal Society of Chemistry Carbohydrate Award 1996

Iceni Diagnostics - Longitude Prize Discovery Award 2016

Fellow of the Association of Carbohydrate Chemists and Technologists, India, 2018

 

My group

Dr Sanaz Ahmadipour

Dr Claire Morley

Alex Munro-Clark

Iakoia Ttoffi

Andrew Yacoup

David Garmeson

Evaladas Siminavicius

Impact

Co-Founder and CSO of Iceni Glycoscience (2014) - https://www.iceniglycoscience.com/

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
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Advanced materials
  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Keywords

  • Carbohydrates and Natural Products; Agrochemicals and Therapeutics; Analytics and Diagnostics

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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