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Biological Research Interest Group

Understanding biological systems at a molecular level and using chemical strategies to interrogate or modify them are currently two of the most exciting goals for chemists worldwide. Research in this department covers a wide range of topics in these contexts and is grouped into the themes below. Advances in these areas will have significant human and economic impact through initiatives as diverse as medicinal chemistry and energy harvesting. A variety of chemical methodologies underpin each of these areas; from theory, informatics, chemical physics, spectroscopy, synthesis, protein and nucleic acid engineering through to manipulation of whole organisms. Around one third of the faculty members of the chemistry department have research activities within these themes and are building on a great history of chemical research applied to fundamental biological problems in Cambridge. We have strong interactions and many joint programmes with biological departments and research institutes in and around Cambridge.

Our common themes are:


Biophysical and spectroscopic studies of macromolecule structure, dynamics and function both in vitro and in vivo



Small molecule intervention in biological processes



New biologically inspired catalysts, responsive materials and synthetic methodology applied to biological systems