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Welcome to the Duer Group

Our research focuses on the molecular structure of biological structural tissues such as bone, muscle, tendon and skin – the so-called extracellular matrix (ECM). The molecular structure of the ECM is extremely complex and changes, often radically, in ageing, in diseases (e.g. cancer or degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis), and with mechanical wear and tear from everyday life. Not only do these molecular structure changes impact the mechanical integrity of the tissue, but they are also crucial in changing the behaviour of cells in the tissue and resulting in aberrant cell behaviour. 

Our current research projects are described here and a full list of publications is available here

Recent news

  • July 2023: Welcome to Pushpha Rampratap who is visiting the group for two weeks to work on 13C-labelled hyaluronic acid. Also, welcome to Dr Mercy Badu from  Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi, Ghana), who is joining us for 5 weeks to perform ssNMR measurements to study the bioavailability of nutrients in plant seeds.
  • June 2023: Congratulations to Thomas Kress who defended his viva
  • March 2023: Congratulations to Dr Adrian Murgoci who passed his viva! We wish him all the best in his career in life science consulting!
  • October 2022: Welcome to Scott Dillon, who is joining us as a Postdoc on the ERC project! Welcome to Kathryn Gerl, our new PhD student funded by the ERC project, Sherry Qian our new master student, and Mikolaj Poplawski our new Part III student.
  • August 2022: We have received a new NMR console for Kinchie, the 400 MHz, and Nessie, a brand new 600 MHz NMR spectrometer.
  • April 2022: We welcomed Abigail, a year 12 student from a local state school for a 3 days placement.
  • April 2022: Welcome back to Melinda, who spent the last three months at the Radboud University Nijmegen as a visiting professor.
  • October 2021: Welcome to our new PhD student Agne Kuraite, and our new Part III student Joe Lunn!
  • May 2021: Welcome to Emily Moore, our new summer intern from the university of Edinburgh!
  • April 2021: We are delighted to announce that Prof. Melinda Duer secured an ERC advanced grant!! (Robinson college statement)
  • October 2020: Congratulations to Adrian Murgoci who was awarded the runner-up prize in the Cambridge BBSRC Doctoral Training Program symposium 2019!
  • October 2020: Congratulations to Dr Anna M. Puszkarska who successfully defended her PhD viva (Using sequence data to investigate the functional design of proteins)!
  • September 2020: Marco Zecca will be continuing his Part III project during his PhD. Welcome to Jessica Spencer-Dene, our new Part III student.
  • July 2020: Congratulations to Dr Ieva Goldberga who was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award 2019 (Material RIG)!
  • December 2019: Congratulations to Dr Rui Li who successfully defended her PhD viva (Glycation of Extracellular Matrix: A Solid-State NMR Study)!
  • September 2019: Congratulations to Dr Ieva Goldberga who successfully defended her PhD viva (Elucidating Structure and Dynamics of Extracellular Matrix Collagen Using Solid-State)!
  • September 2019: Welcome to our new Part III student Marco Zecca, and welcome back to our PhD student Thomas Kress.
Read more at: Research


Our research focuses on the molecular structure of biological tissues. The bulk of structural tissues such as bone, muscle, tendon and skin, is the so-called extracellular matrix. This extracellular material gives the tissue its essential mechanical properties, for instance, the stiffness and toughness of bone, and the elasticity of the skin.

Solid State NMR facility

ssNMR facility

The department of Chemistry hosts a solid-state NMR facility, including two 400 MHz mainly used by the Duer and Forse groups, a 700 MHz, and a 600MHz. Contact Prof. Melinda Duer for solid-state NMR enquiries.

Read more at: Cell culture lab

Cell culture lab

Lab 107:

Most of our work happens lab 107, in a biological safety II laboratory. Contact Prof. Melinda Duer, Rakesh Rajan, or Dr Uliana Bashtanova for lab-related enquiries.