School of Biochemistry

  • BS8 1TD

    United Kingdom

Organization profile

Organisation profile

Biochemistry research at Bristol is driven by a commitment to fundamental studies of the molecular processes that underlie life itself. We believe studies of the intricate networks of biomolecules that become organised within cells to form a living organism are not just intrinsically fascinating, but are also essential to fully understand health, disease and effective therapeutics. The Bristol flavour of Biochemistry places particular emphasis both on discovering novel biological molecular processes and their quantitative analysis, such that these systems can be harnessed and modified in a predictive manner.

A common theme throughout our research is that research questions are best addressed using multiple techniques applied across multiple dimensions, including both space (biomolecular and cellular dimensions) and time (molecular and cellular timescales). Using this unified approach, our extensive portfolio of interests has currently coalesced within three broad areas:

1. Dynamic cell biology

The cell is the fundamental unit of life in which biomolecules are organised. Many of our studies within this large area aim to understand mechanisms of protein trafficking and regulation of dynamic complexes, within and between cells and at membranes, including the role of the extracellular matrix and actin cytoskeleton.

2. Membrane biology

Molecular events at and within cell membranes. Our focus on these hotspots for cellular function ranges from fundamental chemical studies of how proteins are inserted into and across membranes, through to highly specific studies of crucial membrane channels and their complexes.

3. Enzymes: dynamic molecules

Bristol Biochemistry has a long history of fundamental enzymology research with a strong focus on quantitative understanding of catalytic mechanisms. With the development of new single-molecule, FRET, AFM and other approaches to biomolecular studies, this traditional strength has now evolved to provide a fresh approach to exploring and exploiting these key biomolecules, such as in synthetic biology applications.

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    Research Output

    5′ modifications to CRISPR Cas9 gRNA can change the dynamics and size of R-loops and inhibit DNA cleavage

    Mullally, G. E. L., Van Aelst, K., Mubarak Naqvi, M., Diffin, F. M., Karvelis, T., Gasiunas, G., Siksnys, V. & Szczelkun, M. D., 4 Jun 2020, In : Nucleic Acids Research. 13 p., gkaa477.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 21 Downloads (Pure)

    Activation by sub-stoichiometric inhibition

    Merdanovic, M., Burston, S. G., Schmitz, A. L., Köcher, S., Knapp, S., Clausen, T., Kaiser, M., Huber, R. & Ehrmann, M., 21 Jan 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 3, p. 1414-1418 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
    152 Downloads (Pure)

    Acute inactivation of retromer and ESCPE-1 leads to time-resolved defects in endosomal cargo sorting

    Evans, A. J., Daly, J., Anuar, A. N. K., Simonetti, B. & Cullen, P. J., 3 Aug 2020, In : Journal of Cell Science. 133, jcs246033.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 13 Downloads (Pure)


    Student theses

    An Alternative Approach to Combat Antimicrobial Resistant Infections of Medical Implants and Devices

    Author: Jenkins, J. J., 28 Nov 2019

    Supervisor: Nobbs, A. (Supervisor), Su, B. (Supervisor) & Verkade, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    A Promiscuous and Catalytically Proficient De Novo Carbene Transferase

    Author: Stenner, R. A., 12 May 2020

    Supervisor: Anderson, R. (Supervisor) & Seddon, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Assembly and characterisation of Diels-Alderase polymer conjugates for industrial biocatalysis

    Author: Strauss, A. A. I., 1 Oct 2019

    Supervisor: Burston, S. (Supervisor) & Race, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science (MSc)



    Award for Best Conference Talk

    Matt W Anderson (Recipient), 13 Nov 2015

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    British Biophysical Society Young Investigator Award

    Szczelkun, Mark D (Recipient), 2004

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

  • Freeze Frame Competition

    Kenton Arkill (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants


    Computationally Directed Protein Design Workshop

    Dek Woolfson (Participant), Fabio Parmeggiani (Participant), Ross Anderson (Participant), Kathleen Sedgley (Participant) & Tom Bowker (Participant)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Inaugural Bristol BioDesign Institute Conference

    Kathleen R Sedgley (Participant), Dek Woolfson (Organiser), Imre Berger (Organiser), Katharina Landfester (Keynote/plenary speaker) & Nadrian Seeman (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    10 May 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference



    Paul R Race (Visiting researcher)

    13 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution