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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Postdoc wins Korenchevsky award at British Society for Research on Ageing Annual meeting
Karolina Chocian Karolina Chocian (Woollard lab) won the Korenchevsky award at this summer's BSRA meeting in Durham for her talk entitled "Dose dependent functions for chromatin modifiers in regulating lifespan" Published: 14 September 2016
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

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There are four job vacancies available

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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 is now open


Keep in touch with the Department


SBCB Seminar Series Gianni Klesse, Joseph Bluck, Bartosz Bartmanski, 'SBCB seminar' Thursday 29th Sep, 14:00 Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Le Gros Clark Building
Departmental Seminar 'DPhil Symposium 2016' Friday 30th Sep, 13:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building
OUBS Prof Andrew Turberfield, 'Molecular Structures and Machinery from DNA' Monday 3rd Oct, 13:00 Main seminar room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Prof Phil Biggin, 'SBCB seminar' Thursday 6th Oct, 14:00 Main Seminar Room, New Biochemistry Building

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Athena Swan Silver Award