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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Water-bridging as an essential component for initiating protein folding
Showing the water bridge in KGPGK A recent publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society from research performed in the McLain Group from DPhil student Nicola Steinke, has focused on investigating the roles that both water and the primary amino acid sequence have in initiating -turn formation in solution Published: 1 June 2018
DNA repair pathway to come under further scrutiny with new funding
David Lopez Martinez Martin Cohn and his DPhil student David Lopez Martinez have secured funding to enable them to continue to explore how an important DNA damage pathway is regulated. The funding for a MRC transition fellowship will support David as he moves from DPhil to postdoc position Published: 18 October 2018
"The Bacterial World" at the Oxford Natural History Museum
Alt Text An exhibition "The Bacterial World" opens at the Oxford Natural History Museum this Friday and runs until May. It is curated by Judy Armitage with lots of input from Kevin Foster and lots of other bacteriologists around the University. Published: 16 October 2018
Awards for the Cox lab at UK ageing conference
Hannah Walters and Adam Rolt Two members of Professor Lynne Cox's lab were awarded top prizes at the 68th annual scientific meeting of the British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) last week Published: 17 September 2018
Patryk Ludzia wins a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowship
Alt Text Patryk Ludzia, a DPhil student in Bungo Akiyoshi's group, has been awarded a prestigious Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to outstanding junior scientists who wish to pursue an ambitious PhD project in basic biomedical research in an internationally leading laboratory Published: 6 August 2018

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Mark Sansom, Head of Department

The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford is a centre for world class research and teaching of all aspects of Biochemistry by staff from many different backgrounds and nationalities. Our research addresses a wide range of questions relating to the fundamental basis of all cellular life from man to microbes. This work explains the structures and functions of proteins and nucleic acids, and in doing so addresses the mechanisms of many human diseases. Using this knowledge, other researchers aim to create new vaccines, antiviral and antibacterial therapies to protect and treat humans across the world.

You can read more about the details of our current work and other aspects of the department, including undergraduate teaching and public outreach activities, on these web pages.

Professor Mark Sansom, Head of Department

News Highlight

A Summer of Simulations

Three recent papers from the Sansom group reveal how molecular simulations can complement experimental studies in advancing our understanding of membrane protein interactions underlying membrane organization and function.

Collaborative research with Carol Robinson’s group (Chemistry) employs molecular simulations to aid the design and interpretation of mass spectrometry-based experiments. The study, published in Nature, uncovers a new role for phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) lipids in the modulation of signalling by G-Protein Coupled Receptors

As part of an ongoing collaboration with Yvonne Jones’ group in STRUBI, Chavent et al use simulations to reveal interactions of the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase with the intracellular surface of a model cell membrane. The study, published in Structure, shows how phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) mediate interaction of the EphA2 kinase domain with the membrane, whilst kinase and juxta-membrane domains induce formation of nanoclusters of PIP molecules. These results enable computational reconstitution of a near complete EphA2 receptor model.  

Image Caption

Figure 1: Snapshots from a coarse-grained MD (left) and from a mesoscale (right) simulation of bacterial outer membrane protein clustering.

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Postgraduate Courses

Available Studentships


Departmental Event 'Postgraduate Open Day' Wednesday 31st Oct, 09:45 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building


Keep in touch with the Department


Microbiology and Systems Biology (MSB) seminars, Department of Biochemistry Hannah Behrens, Oliver Meacock, 'How the protein antibiotic pyocin S5 enters Pseudomonas aeruginosa & Demixing with motility: defect-mediated segregation of bacterial populations' Monday 22nd Oct, 11:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Dr Phillip Stansfeld, 'Biogenesis Processes within the Bacterial Cell Envelope' Thursday 25th Oct, 14:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBMB Seminar Series Prof Elspeth Garman, Prof Anthony Watts, 'SBMB Seminar' Friday 26th Oct, 11:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
Departmental Seminar Various Speakers, 'Graduate OPEN DAY' Wednesday 31st Oct, 9:45 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building

All Seminars

Athena Swan Silver Award