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Department of Chemistry

Portrait of pdb30

Research in my group can be divided into two areas, although these share a common theme of engineering metal protein interactions in novel ways.

One goal is to engineer novel proteins and polypeptide based assemblies that can be used in molecular electronic devices and nanotechnology in general. This involves understanding, at a fundamental level, how metal cofactors, particularly heme, is delivered to proteins in vivo and, in the case of c-type cytochromes, how heme is covalently attached to protein. It also involves understanding how functional protein units can be assembled into larger nanoscale assemblies that gain function through the proximity of the constituent monomers.

The other goal is to explore the interaction of 4d and 5d tranistion metals with proteins, particularly as a possible route to finding novel medicinal compounds. Specifically, Ruthenium organometallic complexes have shown some potential as anti cancer compounds, but little is understood about how the chemistry of Ruthenium interacts with biomolecules.


Research Interests


  • Self Assembly of Proteins into functional materials
  • Heme protein assembly and heme chaperones
  • Electrochemistry of Proteins
  • Heavy metal complexes and ther interaction with Proteins


Use of a fluorinated probe to quantitatively monitor amino acid binding preferences of ruthenium(II) arene complexes†
GS Biggs, MJ O'Neill, P Carames Mendez, TG Scrase, Y Lin, AM Bin-Maarof, AD Bond, SR Boss, PD Barker
– Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)
Synthesis and extensive characterisation of phosphorus doped graphite
PD Matthews, TC King, H Glass, PCMM Magusin, GJ Tustin, PAC Brown, JA Cormack, R García-Rodríguez, M Leskes, SE Dutton, PD Barker, FM Grosche, A Alavi, CP Grey, DS Wright
– RSC Advances
How to make a porphyrin flip: dynamics of asymmetric porphyrin oligomers.
C Shang, JM Philpott, N Bampos, PD Barker, DJ Wales
– Phys Chem Chem Phys
Investigating the mechanisms of amylolysis of starch granules by solution-state NMR
AJ Baldwin, DL Egan, FJ Warren, PD Barker, CM Dobson, PJ Butterworth, PR Ellis
– Biomacromolecules
Theory and Practice: Bulk Synthesis of C<inf>3</inf>B and its H<inf>2</inf>- and Li-Storage Capacity
TC King, PD Matthews, H Glass, JA Cormack, JP Holgado, M Leskes, JM Griffin, OA Scherman, PD Barker, CP Grey, SE Dutton, RM Lambert, G Tustin, A Alavi, DS Wright
– Angewandte Chemie - International Edition
Selective lability of ruthenium(II) arene amino acid complexes.
TG Scrase, MJ O'Neill, AJ Peel, PW Senior, PD Matthews, H Shi, SR Boss, PD Barker
– Inorg Chem
Folates are potential ligands for ruthenium compounds in vivo
TG Scrase, SM Page, PD Barker, SR Boss
– Dalton Trans.
Local frustration determines molecular and macroscopic helix structures.
CJ Forman, SN Fejer, D Chakrabarti, PD Barker, DJ Wales
– J Phys Chem B
Probing the location of displayed cytochrome b562on amyloid by scanning tunnelling microscopy
CJ Forman, N Wang, ZY Yang, CG Mowat, S Jarvis, C Durkan, PD Barker
– Nanotechnology
The morphology of decorated amyloid fibers is controlled by the conformation and position of the displayed protein.
CJ Forman, AA Nickson, SJ Anthony-Cahill, AJ Baldwin, G Kaggwa, U Feber, K Sheikh, SP Jarvis, PD Barker
– ACS nano
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Research Group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 763096

Email address