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Gibson Group: Ben Graham


Originally from the North of England, Ben completed his GCSEs and later A-Levels (in Biology, Chemistry and History) in 2011, before moving to the University of Reading to undertake his MChem.

As part of his degree, Ben assumed a year in industry with Johnson Matthey plc, working within the Analytical Department on X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). During this time, he worked on a number of research projects both in physioanalytical and 'wet' inorganic chemistry before returning to Reading for his fourth year in 2014.

Ben's final year dissertation project under the supervision of Dr. John Mckendrick, covered the organic synthesis of a library of novel monomers (glyceryl derived amino acid esters), with potential applications as biocompatible polymers for the coating of biomedical devices.

Later graduating with First Class Honours in 2015, Ben moved to the University of Warwick to takeup his ERC Funded PhD in the Gibson Group. Since November 2017, Ben has been the Secretary of the Postgraduate Staff Student Liaison Committee for Chemistry, and previously served as Chair from November 2016 to November 2017.

Research Interests

Ben's research interests largely incorporate the field of synthetic organic chemistry; specifically medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry, and polymer chemistry for biomedical applications. Ben is currently working on the development of novel second generation synthetic biomimetics of naturally occuring antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs). Specifically, species which are capable of reproducing the observed (and beneficial) Ice Recrystallisation Inhibitory (IRI) effect of the natural product. These new, rationally designed synthetic inhibitors capable of restricting ice crystal growth, have a wide variety of applications in the fields of biomedicine and cryopreservation, particularly in bio-banking and blood/cell/tissue storage.


[4] Mohd Syed Ahangar, Christopher M. Furze, Collette S. Guy, Charlotte Cooper, Kathryn S. Maskew, Ben Graham, Alexander D. Cameron and Elizabeth Fullam, "Structural and functional determination of homologs of the Mycobacterium tuberculosisN-acetylglucosamine-6-phosphate deacetylase (NagA)", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018, In Print

[3] Ben Graham, Alice E. R. Fayter, Judith E. Houston, Rachel C. Evans, and Matthew I. Gibson, "Facially amphipathic glycopolymers inhibit ice recrystallization", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018, 140, 5682

[2] Caroline I. Biggs, Trisha L. Bailey, Ben Graham, Christopher Stubbs, Alice Fayter, and Matthew I. Gibson, "Polymer Mimics of Biomacromolecular Antifreezes", Nature Communications, 2017, 8, 1546

[1] Ben Graham, Trisha L. Bailey, Joseph R. J. Healey, Moreno Marcellini, Sylvain Deville, and Matthew I. Gibson, "Polyproline is a minimal antifreeze protein mimetic and enhances the cryopreservation of cell monolayers", Angewandte Chemie Int Ed, 2017, 56, 15941

Poster Presentations

"Synthetic Mimics of AF(G)Ps, Novel Ice Recrystallisation Inhibitors"


  • APME (University of Ghent, Belgium)
  • Department of Chemistry Postgraduate Symposium (University of Warwick, UK)
  • MacroYRM (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • 3rd Ice Binding Proteins Conference (University of Jerusalem at Rehovot, Israel)
  • XI Postgraduate Symposium on Biological and Medicinal Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK)


  • Mastering Medicinal Chemistry IV (University of Strathclyde, UK)

Oral and Flash Presentations


  • Midlands Young Researcher Meeting on Nanomaterials (University of Warwick, UK)


  • XI Postgraduate Symposium on Biological and Medicinal Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK)


  • SUSPOL (University of Warwick, UK)
  • RSC Carbohydrate ERC (University of Keele, UK)

Awards and Prizes


  • Poster Presentation Prize: XI Postgraduate Symposium on Biological and Medicinal Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK)

Grants and Bursaries


  • RSC Organic Division - Conference travel bursary for attendance at APME (University of Ghent, Belgium)
  • RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector - Conference travel and subsistence prize for attendance at Mastering Medicinal Chemistry IV (University of Glasgow, Scotland)


  • RSC Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector - Conference travel bursary for attendance at the 256th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
  • SCI Messel Bursary for attendance at the 256th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)


Royal Society of Chemistry: Associate Member (AMRSC)

Society of Chemical Industry: Student Membership

Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Student Membership

Biochemical Society: Postgraduate Student Membership

OUTREACH Activities

SCI Ambassador: March 2017 - Present

STEM Ambassador: October 2016 - Present

In conjunction with Nick Barker, Ben has voluntarily taken part in several outreach events, working with both GCSE, AS and A-Level students in the undergraduate teaching laboratories on synthetic chemistry experiments. Ben has also worked with Selina Kermode of the RSC in delivering the Spectroscopy in a Suitcase workshop to school and college groups. Both of these activities have focussed on helping younger students to develop a practical understanding of 'real world' chemistry, the feel of a university chemistry laboratory, and sharing his enthusiasm for the subject.

Other Interests

Outside of work, Ben considers himself abit of a chef. Auch, Ben ist derzeit in den Prozess des Lernens Deutsch.

Ben Graham


The University of Reading

2011 - 2015

MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry, First Class

The University of Warwick
2015 - Present

ERC Funded PhD under
Prof. Matthew Gibson