Professor Nigel Richards takes over as the new Head of the Biological Chemistry Section
23 October 2015
Following his recent appointment to the School of Chemistry, Professor Nigel Richards takes over as the new Head of the Biological Chemistry Section. His research investigates the relationship between the structure and function of enzymes that either catalyze chemically interesting reactions or are potential targets for the development of drugs against cancer or tuberculosis. Alongside these aims Nigel’s work is also creating new tools for synthetic biology, with an emphasis on enzymes that can manipulate DNA and RNA containing expanded genetic alphabets both in vitro and in live cells. His group’s work relies on an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of chemistry, physical organic chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and medicinal chemistry. Prof Rudolf Allemann, Head of the School of Chemistry, said: ‘I am delighted that Nigel is taking on the role of Head of Biological Chemistry. He is an outstanding scholar who as former Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is the ideal person to take Biological Chemistry at Cardiff to new heights for the benefit of the whole School. I look forward to working with Nigel’.
Nigel is just one of a number of recent academic appointments to the Biological Chemistry Section. Other recently appointed academic staff include Dr Yuhsuan Tsai, Dr Louis Luk and Professor Angela Casini. The Biological Chemistry Section studies a range of problems at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine. These studies are both of fundamental interest and importance, such as studies of the coupling of enzyme motions to catalysis, and of more immediate societal relevance, such as the generation of a wide range of new pharmaceutically active compounds. The cross collaborative nature of the section’s research is a key feature and it is opening up new frontiers of chemistry.