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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DPhil student wins Etter Student Award at American Crystallographic Association Annual meeting
Charlie receiving his award Charlie Bury (second year DPhil student, Garman group) won the Etter Student Award from the Light Source Special Interest Group of the ACA in Denver on 26th July 2016 Published: 18 August 2016
Expression of Interest for Research Career Development Fellowships 2016
Department of Biochemistry We invite Expressions of Interest from early career researchers who wish to be sponsored for establishing an independent research group, as an externally funded research fellow Published: 11 August 2016
Elena Seiradake awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship
Elena Seiradake Dr Elena Seiradake has been awarded the prestigious Senior Research Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust, for her research into the role of adhesion G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in brain development. Published: 3 August 2016
Smoothly does it: Structural insights into an unusual G-protein coupled receptor
Crystal Structure of human Smoothened receptor A collaborative project between the Newstead and Sansom groups in the Department of Biochemistry and Christian Siebold's group in the Division of Structural Biology has led to the first high resolution structure of a full length G-Protein Coupled Receptor called Smoothened. Published: 1 August 2016

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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

Enzyme structure offers new hopes for better antivirals

The structure of a cellular enzyme that is crucial for the survival of many pathogenic viruses has been solved in a new study.

(Fig 1.) Crystal structure of mouse a-glucosidase II in cartoon representation.

Crystal structure of mouse α-glucosidase II in cartoon representation.

Nicole Zitzmann and members of her team, together with colleagues from Italy and France, have published their findings in PNAS (1). Their work on the enzyme, a key component of the quality control machinery that ensures that glycoproteins fold properly, opens the way for the development of potent and selective antivirals against a range of deadly diseases.

Proteins of all the major human pathogenic viruses, including Zika, dengue, influenza and Ebola, are dependent upon the host cell machinery that controls glycoproteins passing through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). After the glycoprotein enters the ER, whether it is viral or cellular, it passes through a set of enzymes that modify its glycan chains and help it to fold properly. This is known as the calnexin cycle - calnexin, a component of the cycle, is a lectin that holds the glycoprotein so that it can fold properly. If the glycoprotein is not correctly folded on its first cycle, it must pass round the cycle again. ER α-glucosidase I and II (α-GluI and α-GluII), which sequentially remove glucose from N-linked glycans on glycoproteins, and UGGT, are the main enzymatic players in the cycle.

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Postgraduate Courses

Admission to 2016/2017 is now closed, the new admission to 2017/2018 will open on 1st September 2016


Keep in touch with the Department


SBCB Seminar Series Dr Ole Juul Andersen, 'Unravelling the inhibitory mechanism of alpha-1 antitrypsin using accelerated molecular dynamics' Thursday 1st Sep, 14:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
Biochemistry Department Seminar Dr Andrew Spakowitz, 'Multi-scale modeling of chromosomal DNA from the base pair to the genome' Friday 2nd Sep, 11:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Linus Conrad, 'SBCB seminar' Thursday 8th Sep, 14:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Sarah-Beth Amos, 'SBCB seminar' Thursday 15th Sep, 14:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building

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Athena Swan Silver Award