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Professor David Roper

Job Title
Life Sciences
Web Link
Research Interests

David Roper is a former MRC Career Development Award fellow at the University of York and now Professor of Biochemistry and Structural Biology at the University Warwick. The Roper group uses structural biology techniques, principally X-ray structural determination, in combination with molecular biology and biochemical approaches, to investigate the molecular basis of microbial physiology in relation to antimicrobial resistance. Current areas of research include and bacterial cell wall (peptidoglycan) biosynthesis and antibiotic resistance signalling systems as well as targeting tRNA synthetases in bacterial pathogens. His research encompasses fundamental and translation approaches including assay development and drug discovery approach. In addition, his research group also uses a synthetic and systems biology approaches to obtain and reengineer pathway intermediates as chemical probes, substrates and inhibitors. This approach not only allows novel insight to the biology underpinning these pathways but also enables biotechnological exploration and exploitation.

My research interests are in focused in several main areas
1: Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases
2. Bacterial Cell Wall Biosynthesis
3. Bacterial Cell Division
4: Antimicrobial Drug Discovery


BSc Biochemistry, University College Cardiff 1987
PhD Biochemistry, University of Leicester 1990
MRC Career Development Fellowship, 1996-2000

University of Warwick Lecturer in Structural Biology 2001-2006

University of Warwick Associate Professor of Structural Biology 2006-2014

University of Warwick Reader in Structural Biology 2014-2017

University of Warwick BBSRC-RSE Enterprise Fellow 2015-2016

University of Warwick Professor of Structural Biology 2017-present

Title Funder Award start Award end
Maintaining cell wall integrity in Gram-Negative Bacteria (Chris Graham) UK Research and Innovation 01 Apr 2020 30 Sep 2022
Antibiotic Breaker- The outer membrane and peptidoglycan link as a new antibiotic vulnerability Antibiotic Research UK 02 Sep 2021 01 Sep 2022
Collaborative visit to India Academy of Medical Sciences 04 Nov 2018 31 Jul 2022
MRC UK China Hubs MRC 01 Jan 2019 31 Mar 2022
Mechanistic understanding of cell wall biosynthesis to combat antimicrobial resistance: Cell Wall AMR MRC 01 Jul 2015 28 Aug 2021
19 Alert mid-range Equipment Initiative: equipment to upgrade the 600 NMR console at the NMR facility. BBSRC 01 Nov 2020 31 Mar 2021
Understanding how bacteria divide: a route to new antibiotics? (Mr Souvik Naskar) Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund 01 Aug 2019 31 Dec 2020
BBSRC FTMA Investigating the potential to exploit the mechanism of by which tRNA-dependent amino acid synthetases activate cognate and non-cognate amino acids as a strategy for future antibiotic development (Ricky Cain) BBSRC 01 Aug 2018 31 Jul 2019
Accelerate CHNUK AMR discovery: Establishing and exploiting a joint China/UK platform to enable high throughput fragment based inhibitor discovery MRC 01 Jul 2016 30 Jun 2019
17 Alert bid led by Nottingham: A new multi-wavelength analytical ultracentrifuge for the study of biomeolcular interactions BBSRC 01 May 2018 30 Apr 2019
5th Midlands Molecular Microbiology Meeting Company of Biologists, The 03 Sep 2018 02 Oct 2018
Multi-Targetting of tRNA synthetases: A paradigm shift in combating AMR MRC 01 Mar 2015 30 Nov 2017
Molecular Dissection of PASTA domains from Enterococci (Researcher Mobility Grant for Christopher Thoroughgood) Royal Society of Chemistry 09 Mar 2017 08 Jun 2017
Centre for integrative theoretical and experimental analytical science for application to bacterial cell division and Quality by Design (CAS-IDP) European Commission 01 Mar 2013 28 Feb 2017
Team CanUK: Novel antibacterial targets, assays, probes and opportunities in bacterial cell wall biogenesis MRC 01 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2015
BBSRC Link with Astra Zeneca:Reagents and assays to exploit the final steps of peptidoglycan construction BBSRC 01 Aug 2013 31 Jul 2015
The biochemical characterisation of pivotal enzymes involved in mycobacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis Birmingham-Warwick PG grant MRC 01 May 2011 30 Apr 2014
(led by UCL) BBSRC project Disruption of cytoplasmic membrane-associated functions in staphylococcus aureus by epicatechin gallate led by School of Pharmacy (with Sheffield and Birmingham) BBSRC 04 Apr 2011 03 Apr 2014
Subproject for Institution # 33323 - RCHAR3009 - A new Raman instrument for polarized spectroscopy of biomacromolecular systems EPSRC 01 Sep 2012 28 Feb 2014
A new Raman instrument for polarized spectroscopy of biomacromolecular systems EPSRC 01 Sep 2012 28 Feb 2014
Research Agreement :Investigation into bacterial metabolism - the biochemistry of cytoplasmic synthesis of peptidoglycan precursors entiteld Impact of ligase/MreB association on inhibitor discovery. Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd 01 Aug 2013 31 Jan 2014
Unesco- loreal Visiting Fellowship for Vita Majce UNESCO 01 May 2012 30 Apr 2013
UKCan - BACWAN MRC 01 Aug 2009 30 Apr 2010
UK BACWAN 2 University of Sheffield 01 May 2008 30 Apr 2010
Structure and Biology of Membrane Proteins Wellcome Trust 01 Jan 2005 31 Dec 2009
MAR Imaging plate x ray data collection system Wellcome Trust 01 Sep 2003 31 Aug 2008
UK - BaCWAN: UK-Bacterial Cell Wall Assembly Network MRC 01 Apr 2006 31 Mar 2008
Exploration and Exploitation of the Enzymology of PBP Driven Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis to Discover Novel Non-beta Lactam Antibiotics MRC 01 Mar 2005 29 Feb 2008
Towards a complete structure-function description of an aromatic degradative pathway BBSRC 01 Feb 2005 31 Jan 2008
Molecular Physiology and structural analysis of the innate immune system triggered by bacterial cell wall components British Pharmacological Society 01 Oct 2004 30 Sep 2007
Structure, Stability & Molecular Interactions In Biological Systems BBSRC 01 Sep 2005 31 May 2006

Latest Press Release:
New TB drug candidates developed from soil bacteria