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Prof. Tim Bugg

Professor of Biological Chemistry

Photo of Prof Tim BuggUnderstanding of enzyme-catalysed reactions, using a combination of the following techniques: synthesis of enzymatic substrates and inhibitors, isotope labeling experiments, enzyme purification, and enzyme kinetics. Major areas of interest are enzymes involved in the bacterial degradation of lignin and aromatic compounds, and enzymes involved in bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan biosynthesis, as targets for the development of novel antibacterial agents.

t dot d dot bugg at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 5 73018

Office C5.13

Tim Bugg Group

Groups at Warwick


  • Warwick Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining


  • 1986-1989 PhD research, University of Cambridge (supervisor Dr Chris Abell)
  • 1989-1991 SERC/NATO postdoctoral fellowship, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA (group of Prof. Chris Walsh)
  • 1991-1999 Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, University of Southampton
  • 1999-present Professor of Biological Chemistry, University of Warwick

I am working on the following projects at the moment:

  • EU Horizon H2020 Project “Zero waste lignocellulosic biorefineries by integrated lignin valorization” (ZELCOR) Co-ordinator S Baumberger (INRA Versailles). EU Horizon 2020 Bio-based Industries Consortium, grant agreement no. 720303.
  • BBSRC-FAPESP Project “Lignin valorization in lignocellulosic bioethanol plants: biocatalytic conversion via ferulic acid to high value chemicals” led by Prof Tim Bugg, Dr. Fabio Squina (Univ Sorocaba), BBSRC reference BB/P01738X/1.

My research group is currently studying bacterial enzymes for degradation of the lignin biopolymer found in plant cell walls, including DyP-type peroxidase enzymes, multi-copper oxidase enzymes, and Sphingobacterium sp manganese superoxide dismutase, for the conversion of lignin into renewable aromatic chemicals. We are also using metabolic engineering to convert lignin into high-value aromatic chemicals. My group also studies enzymes involved in bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan biosynthesis, as targets for the development of novel antibacterial agents.

Prof Tim Bugg teaches on the following modules:

CH271 Introduction to Biological and Medicinal Chemistry (10 lectures on enzyme-catalysed reactions, medicinal chemistry)

CH3F9 Molecular Pharmacology (module leader)

CH3F7 Energy (2 lectures on biofuels)

CH3F8 Advanced Co-ordination and Bio-inorganic Chemistry (2 lectures on metallo-oxygenase enzymes)

CH411 Advanced Chemical Biology (module leader, 7 lectures on protein engineering, RNA & peptide libraries, metabolic engineering)

I am supervising the following PhD students:

  • Rachel Kerr, Peptidomimetic inhibitors of the protein E-translocase MraY interaction site as new antibacterial agents.
  • Timur Avkiran, Inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis MptpB (co-supervisor).
  • Awatif Alruwaili, A bacterial oxidase enzyme involved as an accessory enzyme in lignin degradation.
  • Purwinda Iriani, Conversion of brown coal lignite into aromatic chemicals via bioconversion.

Students interested in joining the research group should please contact Professor Tim Bugg.

“Characterisation of thiamine diphosphate-dependent 4-hydroxybenzoylformate decarboxylase enzymes from Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 and Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 involved in degradation of aryl-C2 lignin degradation fragments” Z. Wei, R.C. Wilkinson, G.M.M. Rashid, D. Brown, V. Fülöp and T.D.H. Bugg, Biochemistry, 58, 5281-5293 (2019).

Sphingobacterium sp. T2 manganese superoxide dismutase catalyses the oxidative demethylation of polymeric lignin via generation of hydroxyl radical” G.M.M. Rashid, X. Zhang, R.C. Wilkinson, V. Fülöp, B. Cottyn, S. Baumberger, and T.D.H. Bugg, ACS Chem. Biol., 13, 2920-2929 (2018).

“Structural and functional characterisation of a multi-copper oxidase CueO from lignin-degrading bacterium Ochrobactrum sp. reveal its activity towards lignin model compounds and lignosulfonate” R.S. Granja-Travez, R.C. Wilkinson, G.F. Persinoti, F.M. Squina, V. Fülöp, and T.D.H. Bugg, FEBS Journal, 285, 1684-1700 (2018).

“Biocatalytic conversion of lignin to aromatic dicarboxylic acids in Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 by re-routing aromatic degradation pathways” Z. Mycroft, M. Gomis, P. Mines, P. Law & T.D.H. Bugg, Green Chemistry, 17, 4974-4979 (2015).

“Identification of manganese superoxide dismutase from Sphingobacterium sp. T2 as a novel bacterial enzyme for lignin oxidation” G.M.M. Rashid, C.R. Taylor, Y. Liu, X. Zhang, D. Rea, V. Fülöp & T.D.H. Bugg, ACS Chem Biol, 10, 2286-2294 (2015).

“Characterisation of Dyp-type peroxidases from Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5: oxidation of Mn(II) and polymeric lignin by Dyp1B” R. Rahmanpour & T.D.H. Bugg, Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 574, 93-98 (2015).