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Professor of Biological and Biomedical Chemistry

What we do...

Our research focusses 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, the elasticity of skin.  The molecular structure of the extracellular matrix is complex and subject to equally complex chemistry on a daily basis.  This leads to structural changes, which in ageing, in diseases such as cancer and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis can be substantial.  Cells take their cues from the molecular structure of the extracellular matrix that surrounds them, and so their behaviour changes when the extracellular matrix structure changes.  This results in aberrant cell behaviour in cancer for instance, and imperfect tissue repair after damage in ageing.

The major paradigm in our research is that normal cell behaviour can be restored by restoring normal extracellular matrix structure. Our work aims to generate the understanding needed to drive development of new therapeutics for degenerative diseases.

You can read more about our research here.

We are funded by... 

The European Research Council, the Medcical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, Cycle Pharmaceuticals and Cambridge Oncology.

Watch Professor Melinda Duer discuss her research

Take a two-minute tour of the Duer Lab

Publications

Inside Cover: Pigmentation Chemistry and Radical‐Based Collagen Degradation in Alkaptonuria and Osteoarthritic Cartilage (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 29/2020)
WY Chow, BP Norman, NB Roberts, LR Ranganath, C Teutloff, R Bittl, MJ Duer, JA Gallagher, H Oschkinat
– Angewandte Chemie International Edition
(2020)
59,
11674
Glycation changes molecular organization and charge distribution in type I collagen fibrils.
S Bansode, U Bashtanova, R Li, J Clark, KH Müller, A Puszkarska, I Goldberga, HH Chetwood, DG Reid, LJ Colwell, JN Skepper, CM Shanahan, G Schitter, P Mesquida, MJ Duer
– Scientific reports
(2020)
10,
3397
Pigmentation Chemistry and Radical-Based Collagen Degradation in Alkaptonuria and Osteoarthritic Cartilage
WY Chow, B Norman, N Roberts, L Ranganath, C Teutloff, R Bittl, M Duer, J Gallagher, H Oschkinat
(2020)
Pigmentation Chemistry and Radical-Based Collagen Degradation in Alkaptonuria and Osteoarthritic Cartilage
WY Chow, BP Norman, N Roberts, L Ranganath, C Teutloff, R Bittl, MJ Duer, J Gallagher, H Oschkinat
(2020)
Pigmentation Chemistry and Radical-Based Collagen Degradation in Alkaptonuria and Osteoarthritic Cartilage
WY Chow, B Norman, N Roberts, L Ranganath, C Teutloff, R Bittl, M Duer, J Gallagher, H Oschkinat
(2020)
Detection of nucleic acids and other low abundance components in native bone and osteosarcoma extracellular matrix by isotope enrichment and DNP-enhanced NMR
I Goldberga, R Li, WY Chow, DG Reid, U Bashtanova, R Rajan, A Puszkarska, H Oschkinat, MJ Duer
– RSC advances
(2019)
9,
26686
Poly(ADP-ribose) links the DNA damage response to biomineralization
K Mueller
– Cell Reports
(2019)
27,
3124
Water desorption in Kelvin-probe force microscopy: A generic model
P Mesquida, D Kohl, S Bansode, M Duer, G Schitter
– Nanotechnology
(2018)
29,
505705
Proline provides site-specific flexibility for in vivo collagen
WY Chow, CJ Forman, D Bihan, AM Puszkarska, R Rajan, DG Reid, DA Slatter, LJ Colwell, DJ Wales, RW Farndale, MJ Duer
– Scientific reports
(2018)
8,
13809
Solid state NMR - An indispensable tool in organic-inorganic biocomposite characterization; refining the structure of octacalcium phosphate composites with the linear metabolic di-acids succinate and adipate.
Y Li, DG Reid, MJ Duer, JCC Chan
– Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
(2018)
95,
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Head of group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 763934 (shared)

Email address