Imperial College London

Prof Ed Tate

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Chemical Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 3752e.tate Website CV




Ms Agnes Lee +44 (0)20 7594 9852




639ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





Tate Group Overview

Our research lies at the interface between organic chemistry, the life sciences and medicine, in the fields of chemical biology and chemical proteomics. The unifying theme of our work is the design and application of chemical approaches to understand and manipulate living systems, with an emphasis on processes important to disease. Related to this theme, our group also undertakes research in medicinal chemistry and chemical synthesis/modification of proteins and peptides. 

NEW positions available

Research Technician in Protein X-ray CrystallographY

We are seeking to recruit an experienced researcher to contribute to an ongoing drug discovery project in the groups of Dr Ernesto Cota, Department of Life Sciences and Professor Edward Tate, Department of Chemistry. The project focuses on structure-guided design of ligands against small GTPases, a validated but challenging set of targets. The research is backed by a robust combination of biophysical, biochemical and cellular assays. The project is supported by collaborations with structural and cell biologists at Imperial and the CRUK Drug Discovery Centres at the Institute of Cancer Research (London) and the Beatson Institute (Glasgow). Please see the advert online for details of how to apply.

Postdoctoral Opportunities

We welcome informal enquiries from potential postdoctoral fellows with outstanding research track records that are prepared to apply for independent research funding, for example from the European Union, HFSP, etc. Full assistance will be given in preparing a competitive research proposal; we have an exceptional track record in accelerating the careers of outstanding postdoctoral researchers, with six Marie Curie fellowships awarded to our lab in the past four years.

PhD studentships

Any students interested in pursuing postgraduate research in our group should contact me directly; all prospective applicants should have or expect to obtain a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, biochemistry, or a closely related discipline; non-UK students must be able to obtain independent funding for their studies, e.g. via a government bursary.

Group News - congratulations to...

Many thanks to Monica, Julia, Charlotte and Mostafa, who presented Cancer Research UK-funded research in our lab at the 2016 Imperial College Festival, running 10 fully-booked lab tours. Visitors loaded and ran their own protein gels, imaged with multi-colour fluorescence, and observed cancer cells under the microscope, whilst learning about our work identifying and validating new drug targets in cancer.

Tom won a prize at the 2016 RSC Chemical Biology Symposium in London for his poster on novel assays for protein acyltransferases, alongside a great poster from Julia on probes for prenylation.

Roman won a poster prize at the recent NextGenAgriChem symposium at Bayer in Frankfurt.

Rhiannon who has won a Pathways to Impact award to continue her research on delivery vehicles for the blood-brain barrier.

Louis who passed his PhD viva on his thesis on site-specific dual fluorescent labelling and single molecule dynamics of the tyrosine kinase FGFR. Congratulations Dr Perdios!

Ernie and Goska as their paper "The Rab-binding profiles of bacterial virulence factors during infection" with the Frankel lab goes online at J. Biol. Chem. (Open Access).

Goska and Remi as their paper "Global profiling of HYPE mediated AMPylation through a chemical proteomic approach" goes online at Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (Open Access). 

Tom Charlton, as his paper "Quantitative Lipoproteomics in Clostridium difficile Reveals a Role for Lipoproteins in Sporulation" goes online at Chemistry & Biology (Open Access).

Remi, as his paper "Systems Analysis of Protein Fatty Acylation in Herpes Simplex Virus-Infected Cells Using Chemical Proteomics" goes online at Chemistry & Biology (Open Access).

Andy who passed his PhD viva on his thesis "N-Myristoyltransferase as a drug target: A (Chemical) Space Odyessy". Congratulations Dr Bell! Andy is continuing to develop NMT inhibitors in the Tate group.

Jessica, Wenye, Gee, Julia and Yunyun completed the Race for Life in Hyde Park, raising money for Cancer Research UK.

Scott won 1st Prize at the 2015 MaxQuant Summer School at the Max Planck Institute (Martinsreid, Germany) for his poster on targeting the KLK Activome in drug-resistant prostate cancer using chemical proteomics and systems biology.

Jenny and Louis won the 1st and 2nd prizes for their talks at the Department's annual Postgraduate Reserach Symposium, whilst Yunyun won a poster prize - congratulations!

Feny won a prize for her talk given at the 2015 joint CDT Chemical Biology Conference.

Tom has passed his PhD viva on his thesis "Chemical Proteomic Profiling to Investigate Lipoprotein Biogenesis in Clostridium difficile". Congratulations Dr Charlton! Tom is now a postdoc in the Kessler lab at the University of Oxford.

James has pased his PhD viva on his thesis "Unravelling the targets of electrophilic natural products in cancer with chemical proteomics". Congratulations Dr Clulow! James is now working at Imperial Innovations.

Tiffany and Shuang both won prizes for their presentations at the final year undergraduate research project symposium for their work on Rab27a and novel probes for NMT. Congratulations!

Naoko passed her PhD viva on her thesis "Development of Chemical Tools to Study Protein Palmitoylation and Palmitoyl Acyltransferases". Congratulations Dr Masumoto! Naoko is now working at Imanova.

Naoko and Paulina, as their reviews on hedgehog cholesterylation and MBOATs go online at Biochem Soc Trans.

The group attended the 2015 Chemical Proteomics Symposium in Oxford, sponsored by the ChemProbes COST network, with Ed, Markus and Remi giving talks and Jenny, Feny, Scott, Sharlin and Kate presenting posters.

Goska, Remi and Paulina as their paper 'Multifunctional Reagents for Quantitative Proteome-Wide Analysis of Protein Modification in Human Cells and Dynamic Profiling of Protein Lipidation During Vertebrate Development' is featured as a Hot Paper in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Megan, Lisa and Remi, as their paper 'Global Analysis of Protein N-Myristoylation and Exploration of N-Myristoyltransferase as a Drug Target in the Neglected Human Pathogen Leishmania donovani' is featured on the cover of the March issue of Chemistry & Biology (Open Access) and on the College Website.

Chris as his paper 'The Plasmodium Class XIV Myosin, MyoB has a Distinct Subcellular Location in Invasive and Motile Stages of the Malaria Parasite, and an Unusual Light Chain' in collaboration with parasitologists at the Crick Institute goes online at J. Biol. Chem.

Tom, Markus and Naoko, as their paper 'Modulation of Amide Bond Rotamers in 5-Acyl-6,7-dihydrothieno[3,2-c]pyridines' goes online at J. Org. Chem.

Paulina passed her PhD viva on her thesis "Studying Protein Lipidation with Metabolic Chemical Probes: Hedgehog Protein Cholesterylation". Congratulations Dr Ciepla! Paulina is now working with zebrafish in the lab of James Chen at Stanford University.

Kalesh and James as their paper 'Target profiling of zerumbone using a novel cell-permeable clickable probe and quantitative chemical proteomics' goes online at Chem Comm.

Antonio, Paulina and Tom as their paper 'Topological analysis of Hedgehog acyltransferase, a multi-palmitoylated transmembrane protein' goes online at J. Biol. Chem.

Goska as her paper in collaboration with the Katan group at UCL 'Crystal Structure of the Human, FIC-Domain Containing Protein HYPE' goes online (Open Access) in the journal Structure.

Chris, Nina and Wenlin as their paper 'Targeting a Dynamic Protein–Protein Interaction: Fragment Screening against the Malaria Myosin A Motor Complex' goes online at ChemMedChem.

Manue, Remi, Goska and Megan as their paper 'Global profiling of co- and post-translationally N-myristoylated proteomes in human cells' goes online at Nature Communications, and is featured on the College Website and on various news outlets.

Eric won the Perkin Prize for top performance in the MRes in Drug Discovery and Development 2014.

Jennie, Victor and Tayo as their papers on structure-guided design of novel parasite NMT inhibitors go online at J Med Chem and OBC.

Eric, Eileen and June (below), and George, Yuchen, DongKyu, Kate and Scott graduate their MRes degrees after completing their projects in our group. 

Scott won the prize for best talk at the ICB MRes Conference.

Lisa won the prize for best postgraduate student talk at the 2014 EMBO Chemical Biology Conference, at EMBL in Heidelberg.

Goska won first prize for the poster she presented at the 6th MaxQuant Summer School, held at the NIH in Bethesda, US.

Chris, Yunyun, Sabrina and Jemima as their paper 'Crystal structures of stapled and hydrogen bond surrogate peptides targeting a fully buried protein-helix interaction' goes online at ACS Chemical Biology.

Paulina, Antonio, Remi and Naoko as their paper 'New chemical probes targeting cholesterylation of Sonic Hedgehog in human cells and zebrafish' goes online at Chemical Science (Open Access).

Kalesh's recent paper, 'A succinyl lysine-based photo-cross-linking peptide probe for Sirtuin 5', has been featured as a Hot Article in OBC.

Chris passed his PhD viva on his thesis "Using chemical and structural biology to dissect the Plasmodium invasion motor complex". Congratulations Dr Douse! Chris is now at the LMB in Cambridge, in the lab of Yorgo Modis.

About Prof. Ed Tate

Ed works in the Chemical Biology Section of the  Department of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), and has been the recipient of three prestigious research fellowships, and research grants from the UK research councils, charity foundations, the EU and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He sits on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Chemical Biology and the Biochemical Journal, chairs the Chemistry Department's Early Career Development Committee, sits on the steering committee of the EU COST action ChemProbes, and the committee of the RSC Bioorganic Group. He was awarded the 2012 Wain Medal Lecture and Prize and the 2013 RSC/MedImmune Protein and Peptide Science Award in recognition of his research in chemical biology, and was elected FRSC in 2013, and FRSB in 2014. He also recevied the 2013 President and Rector's Award for Excellence in Research Supervision, and the 2014 Norman Heatley Award in Chemical Biology.

Following a B.Sc. degree in chemistry at the University of Durham, Ed undertook his Ph.D. in organic chemistry and methodology at the University of Cambridge under the guidance of  Prof. Steve Ley. He then w orked for two years with Prof. Sam Zard at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) on an 1851 Research Fellowship, on radical chemistry and natural product total synthesis. The award of a Howard Trust Research Fellowship  enabled him to study molecular microbiology and the role of DNA secondary st ructure in transcriptional activation with Dr. Annie Kolb at the Pasteur Institute (Paris), and following this period of training in biological research he moved to Imperial College London to work on protein chemistry and chemical biology with Prof. Robin Leatherbarrow. In 2006 he was awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship; in 2010 he was appointed Senior Lecturer, promoted to Reader in Chemical Biology in 2012, and to Professor of Chemical Biology in 2014.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Broncel M, Serwa RA, Ciepla P, et al., 2015, Multifunctional Reagents for Quantitative Proteome-Wide Analysis of Protein Modification in Human Cells and Dynamic Profiling of Protein Lipidation During Vertebrate Development, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, Vol:54, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:5948-5951

Wright MH, Paape D, Storck EM, et al., 2015, Global Analysis of Protein N-Myristoylation and Exploration of N-Myristoyltransferase as a Drug Target in the Neglected Human Pathogen Leishmania donovani, Chemistry & Biology, Vol:22, ISSN:1074-5521, Pages:342-354

Ciepla P, Konitsiotis AD, Serwa RA, et al., 2014, New chemical probes targeting cholesterylation of Sonic Hedgehog in human cells and zebrafish, Chemical Science, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-6520, Pages:4249-4259

Douse CH, Vrielink N, Zhang W, et al., 2015, Targeting a Dynamic Protein-Protein Interaction: Fragment Screening against the Malaria Myosin A Motor Complex, Chemmedchem, Vol:10, ISSN:1860-7179, Pages:134-143

Thinon E, Serwa RA, Broncel M, et al., 2014, Global profiling of co- and post-translationally N-myristoylated proteomes in human cells, Nature Communications, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-1723

Hutton JA, Goncalves V, Brannigan JA, et al., 2014, Structure-Based Design of Potent and Selective Leishmania N-Myristoyltransferase Inhibitors, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol:57, ISSN:0022-2623, Pages:8664-8670

Douse CH, Maas SJ, Thomas JC, et al., 2014, Crystal Structures of Stapled and Hydrogen Bond Surrogate Peptides Targeting a Fully Buried Protein-Helix Interaction, ACS Chemical Biology, Vol:9, ISSN:1554-8929, Pages:2204-2209

Guttery DS, Poulin B, Ramaprasad A, et al., 2014, Genome-wide Functional Analysis of Plasmodium Protein Phosphatases Reveals Key Regulators of Parasite Development and Differentiation, Cell Host & Microbe, Vol:16, ISSN:1931-3128, Pages:128-140

Rackham MD, Brannigan JA, Rangachari K, et al., 2014, Design and Synthesis of High Affinity Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax N-Myristoyltransferases Directed by Ligand Efficiency Dependent Lipophilicity (LELP), Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol:57, ISSN:0022-2623, Pages:2773-2788

Wright MH, Clough B, Rackham MD, et al., 2014, Validation of N-myristoyltransferase as an antimalarial drug target using an integrated chemical biology approach, Nature Chemistry, Vol:6, ISSN:1755-4330, Pages:112-121

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