Monash Warwick Alliance Professor of Sustainable Chemistry (Chemical and Synthetic Biology)
We work on the discovery, biosynthesis, bioengineering, and mechanism of action of antibiotics and other bioactive metabolites produced by bacteria.
g dot l dot challis at warwick dot ac dot uk
02476 5 22355
Groups at Warwick
- Challis Group
- Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre
- Warwick Antimicrobial Interdisciplinary Centre
- Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (BBSRC DTP)
- Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC DTP)
- Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology (EPSRC CDT)
- Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
- Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Protein and Peptide Science
- Monash Warwick Alliance Professor of Sustainable Chemistry (Chemical and Synthetic Biology), Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Monash University (2016-)
- Professor of Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick (2006-2016)
- Senior Lecturer/Reader in Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick (2003-2006)
- Lecturer in Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick (2001-2003)
- Wellcome Trust research fellow, Department of Genetics, John Innes Centre (2000-2001)
- Wellcome Trust research fellow, Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University (1998-2000)
- DPhil in Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford (1998)
- BSc in Chemistry, Imperial College London (1994)
My research focuses on the chemistry and biology of microbial natural products. This encompasses natural product discovery, elucidation of biosynthetic pathways, creation of natural product analogues and novel molecular scaffolds via synthetic biology, and the mechanism of action and biological function of natural products.
Our approach is highly interdisciplinary and employs numerous complementary techniques, including chemical synthesis and analysis, molecular genetic manipulation, enzymology, protein mass spectrometry, structural biology (X-ray crystallography, protein NMR spectroscopy and single particle cryo-electron microscopy), bioinformatics, molecular modelling, and bioactivity assays.
I teach Bioorganic Chemistry (CH3F5 - year 3)
I am supervising the following Postdoctoral Research Fellows:
- Daniel Van (Research Fellow)
- James Duncan (Research Fellow)
- Tianjie Yuan (Research Fellow)
- Zhongke Jiang (Research Fellow)
- Arun Gupta (Research Fellow)
- Jinlian Zhao (Research Fellow)
- Fayrouz Elmaddah (Research Fellow)
I am supervising the following PhD students:
- Rebecca Clayton
- Marlene Rothe
- Munro Passmore
- Yu Zhang
- Callum Bullock
- Mabilly Cox Holanda
- Matthew Pledge
I am supervising the following MRes students:
- Charles Hinchliffe
I am supervising the following MChem students:
- Kelly To
- Ore Oloke
Selected recent publications:
Diene incorporation by a dehydratase domain variant in modular polyketide synthases. C. Hobson, M. Jenner, X. Jian, D. Griffiths, D.M. Roberts, M. Rey and G.L. Challis. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2022, 18, DOI: 10.1038/s41589-022-01127-y.
Molecular basis for control of antibiotic production by a bacterial hormone. S. Zhou, H. Bhukya, N. Malet, P. Harrison, D. Rea, M.J. Belousoff, H. Venugopal, P.K. Sydor, K.M. Styles, L. Song, M.J. Cryle, L.M. Alkhalaf, V. Fülöp, G.L. Challis and C. Corre. Nature, 2021, 590, 463-467.
Structures of a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase condensation domain suggest the basis of substrate selectivity. T. Izoré, Y.T.C. Ho, J.A. Kaczmarski, A. Gavriilidou, K.H. Chow, D.L. Steer, R.J.A. Goode, R.B. Schittenhelm, J. Tailhades, M. Tosin, G.L. Challis, E.H. Krenske, N. Ziemert, C.J. Jackson and M.J. Cryle. Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 2511.
Developmentally regulated volatiles geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol attract a soil arthropod to Streptomyces bacteria promoting spore dispersal. P. G. Becher, V. Verschut, M.J. Bibb, M.J. Bush, B.P. Molnár, E. Barane, M.M. Al-Bassam, G. Chandra, L. Song, G.L. Challis, M.J. Buttner, and K. Flärdh. Nat. Microbiol. 2020, 5, 821-829.
A dual transacylation mechanism for polyketide synthase chain release in enacyloxin antibiotic biosynthesis. J. Masschelein, P.K. Sydor, C. Hobson, R. Howe, C. Jones, D.M. Roberts, Z.L. Yap, J. Parkhill, E. Mahenthiralingam and G.L. Challis. Nat. Chem. 2019, 11, 906-912.
Structural basis for chain release from the enacyloxin polyketide synthase. S. Kosol, A. Gallo, D. Griffiths, T.R. Valentic, J. Masschelein, M. Jenner, E.L. de los Santos, L. Manzi, P.K. Sydor, D. Rea, S. Zhou, V. Fülöp, N.J. Oldham, S.-C. Tsai, G.L. Challis, and J.R. Lewandowski. Nat. Chem. 2019, 11, 913-923.
Genome mining identifies cepacin as a key plant-protective metabolite of the biopesticidal bacterium Burkholderia ambifaria. A.J. Mullins, J.A.H. Murray, M.J. Bull, M. Jenner, C. Jones, G. Webster, T.R. Connor, J. Parkhill, G.L. Challis and E. Mahenthiralingam. Nat. Microbiol. 2019, 4, 996-1005.
Mechanism of intersubunit ketosynthase–dehydratase interaction in polyketide synthases. M. Jenner, S. Kosol , D. Griffiths, P. Prasongpholchai, L. Manzi, A.S. Barrow, J.E. Moses, N.J. Oldham, J.R. Lewandowski and G.L. Challis. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2018, 14, 270-275.