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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Reader in Chemical Biology

Dr. Gonçalo Bernardes is a Reader in Chemical Biology, a Royal Society University Research Fellow & a Fellow of Trinity Hall College, Cambridge.

What we do

Nature has its own machinery for modifying the structure of proteins. In our research, we’re attempting to mimic this machinery to gain significant therapeutic benefits. We’re engineering chemical reactions that enable us to modify proteins while allowing to choose the precise location in the protein’s structure where we want to install these modifications.

This work has a whole range of applications. For example, we’re currently developing ways of selectively labelling proteins in living cells: this can help us monitor the proteins associated with particular diseases without interfering either with the protein’s structure, function, activity and location or upsetting the cell’s normal functions. Another important potential application for this work is linking cytotoxic drug molecules (molecules that are poisonous to cells) to antibodies and then using the antibody to deliver the drug in a very targeted way to the diseased tissue. This could improve the effectiveness of cancer treatments and reduce their side effects.

These are two examples from among our lines of research that use site-selective and bioorthogonal chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. We hope our methods may in future be used in laboratories around the world to help develop new drugs with improved effectiveness and reduced side-effects for some of the most common diseases such as cancer.


We are funded by the Royal Society, by research council grants in both countries (EPSRC and FCT Portugal), and by the EU including through a European Research Council Starting and Proof-of-Concept Grants

For further information on our research and for oportunities, please check our research group website.

Watch Dr Bernardes discuss his research

Take a tour of the Bernardes Lab


Exploration of Long-Chain Vitamin e Metabolites for the Discovery of a Highly Potent, Orally Effective, and Metabolically Stable 5-LOX Inhibitor that Limits Inflammation
K Neukirch, K Alsabil, C-P Dinh, R Bilancia, M Raasch, A Ville, I Cerqua, G Viault, D Bréard, S Pace, V Temml, E Brunner, PM Jordan, MC Marques, K Loeser, A Gollowitzer, S Permann, J Gerstmeier, S Lorkowski, H Stuppner, U Garscha, T Rodrigues, GJL Bernardes, D Schuster, D Séraphin, P Richomme, A Rossi, AS Mosig, F Roviezzo, O Werz, J-J Helesbeux, A Koeberle
– J Med Chem
Arylethynyltrifluoroborate Dienophiles for on Demand Activation of IEDDA Reactions.
Z Zawada, Z Guo, BL Oliveira, CD Navo, H Li, PMSD Cal, F Corzana, G Jiménez-Osés, GJL Bernardes
– Bioconjug Chem
The role of reversible and irreversible covalent chemistry in targeted protein degradation
H Kiely-Collins, GE Winter, GJL Bernardes
– Cell Chemical Biology
Protein Conjugation by Electrophilic Alkynylation Using 5‑(Alkynyl)dibenzothiophenium Triflates
V Laserna, A Istrate, K Kafuta, TA Hakala, TPJ Knowles, M Alcarazo, GJL Bernardes
– Bioconjug Chem
Allosteric Antagonist Modulation of TRPV2 by Piperlongumine Impairs Glioblastoma Progression
J Conde, RA Pumroy, C Baker, T Rodrigues, A Guerreiro, BB Sousa, MC Marques, BP de Almeida, S Lee, EP Leites, D Picard, A Samanta, SH Vaz, F Sieglitz, M Langini, M Remke, R Roque, T Weiss, M Weller, Y Liu, S Han, F Corzana, VA Morais, CC Faria, T Carvalho, P Filippakopoulos, B Snijder, NL Barbosa-Morais, VY Moiseenkova-Bell, GJL Bernardes
– ACS central science
A structural ensemble of a tau-microtubule complex reveals regulatory tau phosphorylation and acetylation mechanisms
F Brotzakis, P Lindstedt, R Taylor, G Bernardes, M Vendruscolo
TRPV2 Modulation by Small Molecules and Lipids
AD Protopopova, RA Pumroy, J de la Roche, FM Haug, BB Sousa, PN Gallo, GJL Bernardes, A Leffler, VY Moiseenkova-Bell
Systematic Activity Maturation of a Single-Domain Antibody with Non-Canonical Amino Acids through Chemical Mutagenesis
PR Lindstedt, FA Aprile, P Sormanni, R Rakoto, CM Dobson, GJL Bernardes, M Vendruscolo
– Cell chemical biology
Facile Installation of Post-translational Modifications on the Tau Protein via Chemical Mutagenesis.
PR Lindstedt, RJ Taylor, GJL Bernardes, M Vendruscolo
– ACS Chem Neurosci
Precise protein conjugation technology for the construction of homogenous glycovaccines
A Kitowski, F Corzana, GJL Bernardes
– Drug Discovery Today: Technologies
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Research Group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336305

Email address


Trinity Hall