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Research group

Molecular and Precision Biosciences

A man in lab sitting in fromt of a computer.

We research how molecular machinery governs cellular life, developing tools to tackle diseases caused when these molecular operations are disrupted.


Molecular interactions amongst biomacromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), carbohydrates and lipids are responsible for nearly every task of life. This includes how genetic information is read, replicated, repaired, catalysing biochemical reactions and maintaining cell shape and communication. 

Our knowledge of what these interactions look like, how they lead to function, and when and where they are present is key to understanding biology. Just as importantly, as molecular bio-scientists we strive to improve detection and interrogation of these interactions at ever increasing precision; developing new technologies to understand biological questions in cancer, antimicrobial resistance, neurodegenerative disease, and vaccine development. 

Our theme is excitingly positioned at discipline boundaries, our members interfacing chemistry, physics, and or computational and AI technologies with biology to achieve more detailed, more precise, and increasingly impactful insights into the molecular machinery governing cellular life, and death.

Our areas of interest 

  • Systems Biomedicine
  • Structural Biology 
  • AI-guided Computational Biology
  • Glycobiology
  • Antibody Therapy
  • Antimicrobial Resistance & Biofilms
  • Neurodegenerative Disease & Cancer
  • Natural Product Biosynthesis
  • Cell Membranes

Research highlights

People, projects and publications


Dr Joern Werner

Reader in Structural Biology
Connect with Joern

Dr John Butler

Research Fellow in Glycoprotn Theraptics
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Emeritus Professor Keith Fox

Research interests

  • DNA Interactions
  • Triplex DNA
  • Quadruplex DNA
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Dr Marcin Przewloka

Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Martin Maly

Research Fellow
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Professor Max Crispin DPhil, FRSB, FRSC, FHEA

Director of Inst for Life Sciences

Research interests

  • Viral Glycobiology
  • Therapeutic Antibodies

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Nullin Divecha

Professor of Cellular Signalling

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Owen Rackham MSc, PhD

Associate Professor

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Paul Skipp

Professor of Proteomics

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Phil Williamson

Head of School

Research interests

  • Molecular processes underpinning neurodegenerative disease
  • Structure and function of cell membranes
  • Development and application of solid-state NMR and other biophysical techniques for the analysis of biological systems

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Phil
We cannot detect the molecular workings of cellular life with the human eye. Within this theme we utilize and develop ways to view the invisible, in order to demystify the parts they play in health and disease.
Theme Lead