Peter L Roach

Primary position:
Professor of Chemical Biology
Other positions:
Head of Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics


The University of Southampton
Professor Peter L Roach's photo


Peter Roach was an undergraduate at Bristol University and graduated with an honours degree in Biochemistry in 1986. After a year working at Hammersmith Hospital, he studied for a PhD in peptide chemistry at Edinburgh University, under the supervision of Professor Bob Ramage. In 1990 he began postdoctoral research with Professor Sir Jack Baldwin FRS. He was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 1997 and made a tutorial fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. In 1999, he was appointed to a lectureship at Southampton University and was made Senior Lecturer in 2008. Peter is a member of the Biochemical Society.


The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)

Key Publications

Al Hakim, Mohammad M., Lombardini, Marta, Sun, Kai, Giustiniano, Francesco, Roach, Peter L., Davies, Donna E., Howarth, Peter H., de Planque, Maurits R.R., Morgan, Hywel and Ashburn, Peter (2012) Thin film polycrystalline silicon nanowire biosensors. Nano Letters, 12, (4), 1868-1872. (doi:10.1021/nl2042276). (PMID:22432636).
Shepard, Eric M., Duffus, Benjamin R., George, Simon J., McGlynn, Shawn E., Challand, Martin R., Swanson, Kevin D., Roach, Peter L., Cramer, Stephen P., Peters, John W. and Broderick, Joan B. (2010) [FeFe]-hydrogenase maturation: HydG-catalyzed synthesis of carbon monoxide. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, (27), 9247-9249. (doi:10.1021/ja1012273). (PMID:20565074).
Driesener, Rebecca C., Challand, Martin R., McGlynn, Shawn E., Shepard, Eric M., Boyd, Eric S., Broderick, Joan B., Peters, John W. and Roach, Peter L. (2010) [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Cyanide Ligands derived from S-Adenosylmethionine-dependent cleavage of Tyrosine. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49, (9), 1687-1690. (doi:10.1002/anie.200907047). (PMID:20108298).
Challand, M.R, Martins, F.T. and Roach, P.L. (2010) Catalytic activity of the anaerobic tyrosine lyase required for thiamine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285, (8), 5240-5248. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.056606). (PMID:19923213).


Dinis, Pedro, Suess, Daniel L. M., Fox, Stephen J., Harmer, Jenny E., Driesener, Rebecca C., De La Paz, Liliana, Swartz, James R., Essex, Jonathan W., Britt, R. David and Roach, Peter L. (2015) X-ray crystallographic and EPR spectroscopic analysis of HydG, a maturase in [FeFe]-hydrogenase H-cluster assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, (5), 1362-1367. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1417252112).
Birtwell, S.W., Broder, G.R., Roach, P.L. and Morgan, H. (2012) Multiplexed suspension array platform for high-throughput protein assays. Biomedical Microdevices, 14, (4), 651-657. (doi:10.1007/s10544-012-9641-z).
Martinez-Gomez, N. Cecilia, Palmer, Lauren D., Vivas, Eugenio, Roach, Peter L. and Downs, Diana M. (2011) The rhodanese domain of ThiI is both necessary and sufficient for synthesis of the thiazole moiety of thiamine in Salmonella enterica. Journal of Bacteriology, 193, (18), 4582-4587. (doi:10.1128/Jb.05325-11). (PMID:21724998).
Challand, Martin R., Driesener, R and Roach, Peter L. (2011) Radical S-adenosylmethionine enzymes: mechanism, control and function. Natural Product Reports, 28, (10), 1696-1721. (doi:10.1039/C1np00036e).
Broder, Graham R., Ranasinghe, Rohan T., Neylon, Cameron, Morgan, Hywel and Roach, Peter L. (2011) Kinetics and thermodynamics of biotinylated oligonucleotide probe binding to particle-immobilized avidin and implications for multiplexing applications. Analytical Chemistry, 83, (6), 2005-2011. (doi:10.1021/ac102762q). (PMID:21291180).
Roach, Peter L. (2010) Radicals from S-adenosylmethionine and their application to biosynthesis. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2010.11.015). (PMID:21159543).
Booth, Michael P.S., Challand, Martin R., Emery, David C., Roach, Peter L. and Spencer, James (2010) High-level expression and reconstitution of active Cfr, a radical-SAM rRNA methyltransferase that confers resistance to ribosome-acting antibiotics. Protein Expression and Purification, 74, (2), 204-210. (doi:10.1016/j.pep.2010.07.010). (PMID:20678576).
Andrews, Christopher J., Brown, Richard C.D., Harrison, Charles K.W., Read, David and Roach, Peter L. (2010) Lecture capture: early lessons learned and experiences shared. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, (6), 56-60.
Wood, Robert J., McKelvie, Jennifer C., Maynard-Smith, Michael D. and Roach, Peter L. (2010) A real-time assay for CpG-specific cytosine-C5 methyltransferase activity. Nucleic Acids Research, 38, (9), e107. (doi:10.1093/nar/gkq047).
Challand, Martin R., Ziegert, Tillman, Douglas, Paul, Wood, Robert J., Kriek, Marco, Shaw, Nicholas M. and Roach, Peter L. (2009) Product inhibition in the radical S-adenosylmethionine family. FEBS Letters, 583, (8), 1358-1362. (doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2009.03.044).
Broder, Graham R., Ranasinghe, Rohan T., She, Joseph K., Banu, Shahanara, Birtwell, Sam W., Cavalli, Gabriel, Galitonov, Gerasim S., Holmes, David, Martins, Hugo F.P., MacDonald, Kevin F., Neylon, Cameron, Zheludev, Nikolay, Roach, Peter L. and Morgan, Hywel (2008) Diffractive micro bar codes for encoding of biomolecules in multiplexed assays. Analytical Chemistry, 80, (6), 1902-1909. (doi:10.1021/ac7018574).
Broder, Graham R., Ranasinghe, Rohan T., She, Joseph K., Banu, Shahanara, Birtwell, Sam W., Cavalli, Gabriel, Galitonov, Gerasim, Holmes, David, Martins, Hugo F.P., MacDonald, Kevin F., Neylon, Cameron, Zheludev, Nikolay, Roach, Peter L. and Morgan, Hywel (2008) Diffractive micro bar codes for encoding of biomolecules in multiplexed assays. Analytical Chemistry, 80, (6), 1902-1909. (doi:10.1021/ac7018574).
Wood, Robert J., Maynard-Smith, Michael D., Robinson, Victoria L., Oyston, Petra C.F., Titball, Rick W. and Roach, Peter L. (2007) Kinetic analysis of yersinia pestis DNA adenine methyltransferase activity using a hemimethylated molecular break light oligonucleotide. PLoS ONE, 2, (8), e801-[7pp]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000801).
Howard-Jones, Annaleise R., Elkins, Jonathan M., Clifton, Ian J., Roach, Peter L., Adlington, Robert M., Baldwin, Jack E. and Rutledge, Peter J. (2007) Interactions of isopenicillin N synthase with cyclopropyl-containing substrate analogues reveal new mechanistic insight. Biochemistry, 46, (16), 4755-4762. (doi:10.1021/bi062314q).
Holmes, D., She, J.K., Roach, P.L. and Morgan, H. (2007) Bead-based immunoassays using a micro-chip flow cytometer. Lab on a Chip, 7, (8), 1048-1056. (doi:10.1039/b707507n).
Cavalli, G., Banu, S., Ranasinghe, R.T., Broder, G.R., Martins, H.F.P., Neylon, C., Morgan, H., Bradley, M. and Roach, P.L. (2007) Multistep synthesis on SU-8: Combining microfabrication and solid-phase chemistry on a single material. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry, 9, (3), 462-472. (doi:10.1021/cc060079p).
Kriek, M., Martins, F.M.R., Challand, M.R, Croft, A. and Roach, P.L. (2007) Thiamine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli: Identification of the intermediate and by-product derived from tyrosine. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 46, (48), 9223-9226. (doi:10.1002/anie.200702554).
Kriek, M., Martins, F., Leonardi, R., Fairhurst, S.A., Lowe, D.J. and Roach, P.L. (2007) Thiazole synthase from Escherichia coli: an investigation of the substrates and purified proteins required for activity in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282, (24), 17413-17423. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M700782200).
Cavalli, Gabriel, Banu, Shahanara, Ranasinghe, Rohan T., Broder, Graham R., Martins, Hugo F.P., Neylon, Cameron, Morgan, Hywel, Bradley, Mark and Roach, Peter L. (2007) Multistep Synthesis on SU-8: Combining Microfabrication and Solid-Phase Chemistry on a Single Material. Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry, 9, (3), 462-472. (doi:10.1021/cc060079p).
Douglas, Paul, Kriek, Marco, Bryant, Penny and Roach, Peter L. (2006) Lipoyl synthase inserts sulfur atoms into an octanoyl substrate in a stepwise manner. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 45, (31), 5197-5199. (doi:10.1002/anie.200601910).
Bryant, P., Kriek, M., Wood, R.J. and Roach, P.L. (2006) The activity of a thermostable lipoyl synthase from Sulfolobus solfataricus with a synthetic octanoyl substrate. Analytical Biochemistry, 351, (1), 44-49. (doi:10.1016/j.ab.2006.01.023).
Whiteford, Nava, Haslam, Niall, Weber, Gerald, Prugel-Bennett, Adam, Essex, Jonathan W., Roach, Peter L., Bradley, Mark and Neylon, Cameron (2005) An analysis of the feasibility of short read sequencing. Nucleic Acids Research, 33, (19), e171-[6pp]. (doi:10.1093/nar/gni170).
Leonardi, Roberta and Roach, Peter L. (2004) Thiamine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli: in vitro reconstitution of the thiazole synthase activity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279, (17), 17054-17062. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M312714200).
Wood, Robert J., Pascoe, David D., Brown, Zoë K., Medlicott, Emma M., Kriek, Marco, Neylon, Cameron and Roach, Peter L. (2004) Optimized conjugation of a fluorescent label to proteins via intein-mediated activation and ligation. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 15, (2), 366-372. (doi:10.1021/bc0341728).
Kriek, Marco, Peters, Liv, Takahashi, Yasahiro and Roach, Peter L. (2003) Effect of iron-sulfur cluster assembly proteins on the expression of Escherichia coli lipoic acid synthase. Protein Expression and Purification, 28, (2), 241-245. (doi:10.1016/S1046-5928(02)00680-0).
Leonardi, Roberta, Fairhurst, Shirley A., Kriek, Marco, Lowe, David J. and Roach, Peter L. (2003) Thiamine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli: isolation and initial characterisation of the ThiGH complex. FEBS Letters, 539, (1-3), 95-99. (doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(03)00204-7).
Rutledge, Peter J., Burzlaff, Nicolai I., Elkins, Jonathan M., Pickford, Michael, Baldwin, Jack E. and Roach, Peter L. (2002) A device for the high-pressure oxygenation of protein crystals. Analytical Biochemistry, 308, (2), 265-268. (doi:10.1016/S0003-2697(02)00246-4).
Ollagnier-de Choudens, Sandrine, Sanakis, Yiannis, Hewitson, Kirsty S., Roach, Peter, Münck, Eckard and Fontecave, Marc (2002) Reductive cleavage of S-adenosylmethionine by biotin synthase from Escherichia coli. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277, (16), 13449-13454. (doi:10.1074/jbc.M111324200).
Ogle, James M., Clifton, Ian J., Rutledge, Peter J., Elkins, Jonathan M., Burzlaff, Nicolai I., Adlington, Robert M., Roach, Peter L. and Baldwin, Jack E. (2001) Alternative oxidation by isopenicillin N synthase observed by X-ray diffraction. Chemistry & Biology, 8, (12), 1231-1237. (doi:10.1016/S1074-5521(01)00090-4).
Hernandez, H., Hewitson, K.S., Roach, P., Shaw, N.M., Baldwin, J.E. and Robinson, C.V. (2001) Observation of the iron-sulfur cluster in Escherichia coli biotin synthase by nanoflow electrospray mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 73, (17), 4154-4161. (doi:10.1021/ac0102664).

Conference or Workshop Item

Sun, Kai, Hakim, M.M.A., Kong, J., de Planque, M.R.R., Morgan, H., Roach, P.L., Davies, D.E., Howarth, P. and Ashburn, P. (2010) Low cost nanowire biosensor fabrication using thin film amorphous silicon crystallisation technologies. At IDRN, Leceister, UK, 14 May 2010.


Research Interests

Research Keywords

Biosynthesis, enzyme mechanisms, radicals, structural studies, iron sulphur clusters, DNA methyltransferase, DNA repair, epigenetics, suspension arrays, encoding.

Research Funding

2008-2011 “Novel Antibiotics from DNA Adenine Methyltransferase Inhibitors”, DTRA, £955k. US DTRA, collaborative grant with Prof. P. Oyston, DSTL Porton Down,

2005-2008 "Receptronics" EU STREP Contract NMP4-CT-2005-017114, 1.99M€.

2003-2008 “4 Billion Bases A Day”, RCUK, £5.1M. Collaborative grant with Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.


Research project with Sociology:  Silicon Nanowire Arrays for Viral Infection markers

Primary research group:  Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics

Research projects

Roach: Radical AdoMet Proteins

Roach: DNA Methyltransferases

Roach: Receptronics

Roach: Encoded Suspension Microparticle Arrays

Teaching Responsibilities

I give lectures on:

CHEM1018 Fundementals of Organic Chemistry (first year)
CHEM1012 Introduction to Chemistry (first year biology students)
CHEM2010 Organic Chemistry in the Environment (second year)
CHEM3038 Advance Organic Chemistry (third year)

I am coordinator for the postgraduate course CHEM6020 Problem Solving in Chemical Biology.


Professor Peter L Roach
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 30/5036

Telephone: (023) 8059 5919
Facsimile: (023) 8059 3781