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Research in my group is in the areas of biological chemistry and mechanistic enzymology. Enzymes are biological catalysts which speed up all of the biochemical reactions found in Nature.

They are wonderful catalysts whose speed of catalysis, selectivity and specificity far exceed man-made catalysts. They are capable of catalysing reactions which have little or no precedent in Chemistry and they do all of this in water at pH 7 and room temperature!

Enzymes have many important applications in biotechnology, and there are many enzyme-catalysed reactions which represent good targets for therapeutic action via selective enzyme inhibition.

The main enzymes and enzyme families studied in our group:


A. Enzymes Involved in Bacterial Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis

  • Phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide translocase
  • Glycosyltransferase MurG
  • tRNA-dependent ligases MurM and MurN from Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Development of new methods to study in vitro peptidoglycan biosynthesis
  • Other enzymes of bacterial cell wall metabolism

B. Novel Enzymes for Lignin degradation

C. Chemical Genetics of the Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenases

D. Enzymes of the Phenylpropionate Catabolic Pathway of Escherichia coli

  • 2,3-Dihydroxyphenylpropionate 1,2-dioxygenase (MhpB)
  • 2-Hydroxy-6-Keto-Nona-2,4-Diene 1,9-Dioic Acid 5,6-Hydrolase (MhpC)
  • 2-Hydroxypentadienoic Acid Hydratase (MhpD)
  • 4-Hydroxy-2-Keto-Pentanoic Acid Aldolase (MhpE)


Room: C513
Tel: + 44 (024) 7657 3018
Fax: +44 (024) 765 24112

Funding for our research has come from: