Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
Collage of Drosophila third instar larva optic lobe
Lu Yang, Davis lab
First year Biochemistry students at a practical class
Image showing the global movement of lipids in a model planar membrane
Matthieu Chavent, Sansom lab
Anaphase bridges in fission yeast cells
Whitby lab
Lactose permease represented using bending cylinders in Bendix software
Caroline Dahl, Sansom lab
Epithelial cells in C. elegans showing a seam cell that failed to undergo cytokinesis
Serena Ding, Woollard lab
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New Independent Research Fellowship competition launched
Department of Biochemistry Find out more about this new competition for outstanding early career researchers Published: 13 August 2015
Departmental researchers win Investigator Awards
Tat transporter showing the structure of TatA-BC Ben Berks and Kim Nasmyth have been awarded Investigator Awards from the Wellcome Trust in the recent funding round Published: 13 August 2015
Elspeth Garman awarded prestigious Guest Professorship in Hamburg
Professor Elspeth Garman Elspeth Garman has been awarded the 2015 Mildred Dresselhaus Guest Professorship at the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging and the University of Hamburg Published: 22 July 2015

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Athena Swan Bronze Award


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Mark Sansom, Head of Department

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry, part of the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division. We are one of the largest Biochemistry departments in the world and carry out world-class research and teaching. Our researchers come from a range of disciplines and work in a collaborative environment on all aspects of modern molecular and cellular biochemistry. We hope you enjoy reading more about our activities on these pages.

Professor Mark Sansom, Head of Department

News Highlight

A new home for membrane proteins

Membrane proteins in bilayers. There are now over 2000 membrane protein structures embedded within lipid membranes and housed within the MemProtMD database

Membrane proteins in bilayers. There are now over 2000 membrane protein structures embedded within lipid membranes and housed within the MemProtMD database (Click to enlarge)

A new database that will help researchers understand the structure of proteins in a membrane is announced in the journal Structure.

Phill Stansfeld, with Mark Sansom, Jo Parker and Simon Newstead in the department, and collaborators in Oxford and Dublin, describe their pipeline 'MemProtMD' and its importance to the research community (1, 2).

The new resource is an automated simulation pipeline for predicting the location of a membrane protein structure in a lipid bilayer. It will give researchers greater insight into how a protein functions within its local membrane environment.

As Dr Stansfeld explains, the group was aiming to create a resource like the Protein Data Bank (PDB), specifically for membrane proteins. 'Whilst there have been methods which take a protein structure and insert it into a lipid bilayer, this has only been done manually up to now. With MemProtMD we have automated this process.'

Another novel feature of the tool is that it uses an 'explicit lipid membrane', doing more than simply inserting the protein into an artificial 'slab' membrane representation. MemProtMD determines the dynamic behaviour of protein in the membrane, taking into account how the protein may deform the lipid and where the protein-lipid interactions might be.

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PhD Studentships

EPSRC 4 Year Industrial CASE Studentship EPSRC CASE Studentship DSTL-funded Studentship Leverhulme Trust Studentship


Keep in touch with the Department


Departmental Seminar Professor Chenqi Xu, 'Lipid-dependent conformational dynamics underlie the functional versatility of T-cell receptor' Wednesday 2nd Sep, 15:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Dr Tyler Reddy, 'Veni, Vidi, Voronoi: Attacking Viruses with Spherical Voronoi Diagrams' Thursday 3rd Sep, 14:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
Biochemistry Department Seminar Professor Hironori Funabiki, 'Unwrapping the function of histones during mitosis' Friday 4th Sep, 11:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
Biochemistry Department Seminar Prof Kirstin Scott, 'Taste Processing in Drosophila' Monday 7th Sep, 12:00 Sherrington Library, Sherrington Building

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