Dr Alex Brogan
Lecturer in Chemistry
(Joins Department on 1 June 2019)
Address: Department of Chemistry King's College London Britannia House 7 Trinity Street London SE1 1DB
Alex obtained both his MSci (2008) and PhD (2012) from the Department of Chemistry, University of Bristol. After a short postdoc there, he moved to the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, where he was a Research Associate until 2019. During this time, he was also a Visiting Researcher, at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017 – 2018). In June 2019, Alex moved to the Department of Chemistry, King’s College London, to establish his group as a Lecturer in Chemistry.
Research Group: Brogan
My research is in the development of new protein-based biomaterials for non-aqueous biocatalysis. The main focus of which will enable us to move from an oil-based economy to a bio-based economy. Essentially, nature has many tools for the utilisation of biomass for the various building blocks of life. However, the processes are far too slow to be used in their current form to make the fuels, chemicals, and plastics we require for modern living. The question, which my research aims to answer, can we make biological systems more compatible with synthetic systems, such that we can fully exploit nature’s toolkit to make our own industry more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.
Specifically, my main research interests are:
- Biocatalysis in ionic liquids
- Nonaqueous enzymes
- Biophysics of proteins in unnatural environments
- Functional hybrid materials
- Protein engineering
The main focus of my research is on the development of novel biomaterials for non-aqueous biocatalysis. The aim of such research is to provide new technologies for industrial bioprocessing, and to further our understanding of proteins and enzymes in unnatural environments. Currently, this is split into two main areas of study. The first is to develop enzyme-based biocatalysts for use in non-aqueous and emerging solvents, such as ionic liquids, providing a robust and versatile platform for truly using biology for industrial purposes. The second is to investigate the potential of ionic liquid gels ("ionogels") as a new platform technology for biocatalysis, with the aim of extending this to bioelectronics and biosensing.
A. P. S. Brogan, L. Bui-Le, and J. P. Hallett. “Non-aqueous homogenous biocatalytic conversion of polysaccharides in ionic liquids using chemically modified glucosidase“. Nature Chemistry, 2018, 10, 859-865.
A. P. S. Brogan, and J. P. Hallett. “Solubilizing and Stabilizing Proteins in Anhydrous Ionic Liquids through Formation of Protein–Polymer Surfactant Nanoconstructs“. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2016, 138, 4494-4501.
A. P. S. Brogan, K. P. Sharma, A. W. Perriman, and S. Mann. “Enzyme activity in liquid lipase melts as a step towards solvent-free biology at 150 °C“. Nature Communications, 2014, 5, 5058.