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I grew up in Hertfordshire, Australia, and Essex before finally settling in Cornwall, where I attended the local comprehensive school, Sir James Smith School.  Inspired by an excellent chemistry teacher, Mr Trevithick, I went on to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, specializing in Chemistry – the first in my family to have the opportunity of higher education.  My PhD under supervisor Dr Malcom Gerloch ScD, also in Cambridge was in theoretical inorganic chemistry and from there it was a relatively small step to research into solid-state NMR methods for studying first inorganic materials then later synthetic polymeric materials.  The sheer complexity of biological materials was what first attracted me into diverting my NMR efforts towards biology, that and the belief that NMR could bring new perspectives into the understanding of biological materials – and once bitten by the biology bug, there is no going back!

Curriculum Vitae


1982 – 85            BA 1st Class Honours, Natural Sciences (Chemistry), University of Cambridge (UCAM)

1985 – 88            PhD, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge (UCAM), UK

Professional history:

1988 – 90            Temporary Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

1990 – 94            Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

1994 – 02            University Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

2002 – 2011        University Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

2011 – 2015        Reader in Biological Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

2015 – current     Professor of Biological and Biomedical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, UCAM

Awards and appointments:

•   Suffrage Science award (Physical Sciences) for mentoring young scientists 2019.

•   Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize 2017

•   Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2017 – current)

•   Invited Visiting Professor, Université Pierre et Marie Curie/ College de France, biomaterials chemistry group (2015)

•   Founder and a director of Cambridge Oncology Ltd (Nov 2018 - current)

•   Physical Science Champion for UCAM Cambridge-Africa project which delivers new scientific collaborations (2014 - current)

•   Deputy Warden, Robinson College, Cambridge (2016 – 2021)

Books and publications

•   Editorial Board, Journal of Magnetic Resonance (2021 – current)

•   An editor of Encyclopedia of Magnetic Resonance (2006 – 2015).

•   An editor of book, NMR Crystallography (Wiley, 2009)

•   Editor and principle author of book, Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy: Theory and Applications (Blackwell Science Ltd, 2001)

•   Author of book, An Introduction to Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy (Blackwell Science Ltd., 2004)

•   Journal advisory boards: Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry (2006 – 2017); Solid State NMR Spectroscopy (2004 – 2012).

Melinda Duer has co-authored more than 130 publications. A full list is available on the publication section of the website.


• BBC Radio 4, The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread, consultant and programme guest (Feb 2019) (

• ITV, Save Money: Good Health, consultant and programme guest (Sept 2019) (

• BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, the Jeremy Sallis Show, interview discussion of vascular calcification and the upcoming minocycline trial (with Dr Nick Evans, leading the trial) (March 2020)

• Suffrage Science (physical sciences) panellist 2021  (

• Pint of Science talk (Cambridge 2019)

• Mentor in Women of the World Allies and mentorship scheme (MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) and African Research Excellence Fund (AREF)).

• Panellist at Gordon Research Conference “Power Hours” to empower young female scientists in New Hampshire, USA 2017 and Girona, Spain 2016.


Recording “The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”, with (from left to right) actress and beauty blogger Rebecca Humphries, Melinda Duer, consultant dermatologist, Dr Emma Wedgeworth and presenter, Greg Foot.