Professor Rudolf Allemann

Professor Rudolf Allemann

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Physical Sciences and Engineering

School of Chemistry

  • Overall management and leadership of the College including setting the overall strategy and direction of the College.
  • Promoting the academic values, including research and education, of the College with overall responsibility for academic performance of the College.
  • Control, allocation and accounting for the financial, human, physical and other resources of the College.

Dipl. Chem. ETH (B.Sc.), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zürich (1985), PhD Harvard University / ETH Zürich (1986-89).

Royal Society and Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MRC-National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill (1989-1990), Staff Scientist MRC-National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill (1990-1992), Research group leader, Department of Chemistry, ETH-Zürich and Lecturer (Lehrbeauftragter) in Biological Chemistry (1992-1998), Habilitation, Department of Chemistry, ETH Zürich(1999), Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Birmingham (1999-2001), Professor of Chemical Biology, University of Birmingham (2001-2004), Since 2005: Distinguished Research Professor and Head of Chemical Biology, Cardiff School of Chemistry.

Professional memberships

Committees and reviewing

CH2317 Chemical Biology III: Biosynthetic Approach to Natural Products

Details of each module is available in course finder

The Allemann laboratory studies the relationship between the structure and function of enzymes and develops and applies chemical tools to probe biological processes in vitro and in live cells. Our work relies on an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of chemistry, physical organic chemistry, biophysics, synthetic biology, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and medicinal chemistry and involves a wide range of techniques. Based on an understanding of enzymatic catalysis and mechanism we develop tools that mimic Nature's reagents. The main research themes are:

Physical and Chemical Basis of Enzyme Catalysis

The high chemical selectivity and specificity as well as the enormous rate accelerations relative to the uncatalysed reactions are studied in a multi-disciplinary approach.

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology capitalises on the advances in genomics and proteomics and the new insights into the molecular mechanisms of action brought about by fundamental chemical and physical studies. Our projects aim to redesign existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes and to design de novo new biological components, devices and systems. They include the design and application of miniature enzymes, the photonic control of biomacromolecular structure to regulate cellular events and approaches for an expansion of the pool of secondary metabolites.

Medicinal Chemistry

Small molecule chemistry together with mechanistic studies of enzymes for the development of selective inhibitors for a variety of autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Organic Chemistry

Diversity Oriented Synthesis; synthesis of novel 'terpenoids', carbohydrate derivatives and biophotonic nanoswitches.

Tissue engineering and repair expertise

Physical and chemical basis of enzyme catalysis, synthetic biology, organic synthesis, biophysics, biophotonic nanoswitches.