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Research in the Department of Chemistry

In an ambitious new era of Chemistry at King’s we are establishing an innovative Chemistry department, free of conventional subject constraints and equipped to tackle the challenges of the future. By leveraging the unique strengths of Chemistry, the research vision at King’s is to surpass the boundaries of the traditional discipline to address fundamental questions and drive new discoveries.

A focus of the department is to realise the transformative power of Chemistry at the interface with Biology and Medicine. We aim to advance functional biology by moving from a descriptive picture of Life Sciences to a quantitative understanding using chemical principles. We aspire to fabricate entirely new materials with creative fusions of Chemistry and Biology. 

Current Research 

Our current research covers the breadth of Chemistry with Chemical Biology as common ground. In a successful fusion of cell biology, chemistry and physics we apply chemical approaches to gain access to the molecular mechanism of complex cell biological problems, working with the cell biologists of the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics and the Physics Department.  To this we add state-of-the-art biophysical approaches, complemented by computational and synthetic/biosynthetic methods.

We are also developing new methods, including native protein mass spectrometry and its integration with other macromolecular structural data to understand the functional biology of surface membranes.

We have active research programmes with King’s Division of Cancer Studies on cancer stem cells and strong connections with King’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Science as well as biotech and Pharma, to develop therapeutic opportunities arising from our research.

  • The Sanz and Hogarth groups exploit novel physical and inorganic methods to create and probe small biomolecules and metallopharmeceuticals.
  • The Barry and Wagner groups combine organic and chemical biology to investigate biomolecules, enzymes and biosynthetic pathways.
  • The Rosta and Isaacson groups employ computational and structural biology approaches to investigate larger biological macromolecules and proteins.
  • Then Booth, Borysik, Eggert, Morris and Politis groups take biophysical, chemical and synthetic biology approaches with particular emphasis on designing and studying protein assemblies, probing natural membranes, creating synthetic membranes and devising new chemical tools to investigate cellular events. 

Chemistry within King's 

The integration of Chemistry in biomedical research at King’s is broader than the direct involvement of the Chemistry Department.  Chemists, directly embedded in Department of Imaging Chemistry and Biology, in both drug discovery and delivery in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in Nutrition, in the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics and in the Dental Institute, expand our opportunities for research and teaching.

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