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Sarah Barry

Dr Sarah Barry


Research interests

  • Chemistry


Sarah is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Chemical Biology and runs an interdisciplinary research group in the Chemistry Department, King's College London. The group focuses on investigating and exploiting bacterial metabolism, particularly natural product biosynthesis.

Sarah is an organic chemist by training and gained her BSc (Hons) in Science (Chemistry Major) from University College Dublin where she did her undergraduate research with Prof Pat Guiry on asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. She stayed at UCD to start a PhD with Prof. Peter Rutledge on iron catalysed oxidation on an IRCSET funded EMBARK postgraduate scholarship. She completed this work in the University of Sydney.

Sarah shifted focus for her postdoctoral research moving to the University of Warwick with Prof. Greg Challis where she developed her interest in enzymology of natural product biosynthesis.

During this time she developed an appreciation for the power of chemistry to answer biological questions as well as the potential of biology (eg enzymes, engineered microbes) to enable complex molecule synthesis.

Research Interests

The Barry Group's multidisciplinary research aims to exploit natural products and understand their biosynthesis, to inspire sustainable chemistry and tackle antimicrobial resistance.

  • Studying novel enzymology towards biocatalyst development for sustainable synthesis
  • Investigating bacterial natural products and their biosynthesis
  • Exploiting natural products as tools & treatments to tackle AMR
  • Developing novel chemistry inspired by bacterial metabolism


  • Undergraduate Teaching: Sarah teaches organic chemistry on the Chemistry and Chemistry with Biomedicine BSc/MSci programmes. She also supervises 3rd year literature projects on the research methods module and MSci final year project students.
  • Postgraduate Research Supervision: Sarah supervises several PhD students from a range of scientific backgrounds (chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology). Contact her if you are interested in pursuing a PhD in her group.

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