Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Chair in Protein Crystallography



+44 (0)20 7594 5327p.freemont




259Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Professor Freemont is Head of the Section of Structural and Synthetic Biology in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College. The Section is based in South Kensington Sir Alexander Fleming Building and focuses on the molecular mechanisms of human disease and infection using the tools of integrated structural biology comprising X-ray crystallography, Cryo-EM and associated biophysical, spectroscopic and cellular techniques. The Section is also leading the London Consortium for Cryo-EM (LonCEM) with partners Kings College, Institute of Cancer Research, Queen Mary University and the Francis Crick Institute. In addition the Section also has research programs  in synthetic biology focused on automation, cell free systems, microbiome engineering, low cost viral and pathogenic biosensors and novel natural product discovery. Please go to the Structural and Synthetic Biology Section website  for news, up-to-date research summaries, a list of job opportunities, and information on lab members.

Professor Freemont is also co-founder of the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology (2009) and co-founder/co-director of the National UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE; since Oct 2013) at Imperial College London. The Centre aims to enable synthetic biology research in application areas like biosensors,  biosynthesis, bioprocessing and metabolic and genome engineering and enable the translation of new synthetic biology technologies into start-ups, SME's and industry.  Previous to this he was head of the Division of Molecular Biosciences at Imperial (now the Department of Life Sciences), and head of the Centre for Structural Biology having joined Imperial from Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (now known as the Francis Crick Institute) where he was a Principal Scientist. His research interests span from understanding  molecular mechanisms associated with human disease and infection using structural molecular biology techniques to the development of synthetic biology cell-free and platform technologies for healthcare applications.



Kopniczky MB, Canavan C, McClymont DW, et al., 2020, Cell-Free Protein Synthesis as a Prototyping Platform for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, Acs Synthetic Biology, Vol:9, ISSN:2161-5063, Pages:144-156

de Martín Garrido N, Crone MA, Ramlaul K, et al., 2020, Bacteriophage MS2 displays unreported capsid variability assembling T = 4 and mixed capsids, Molecular Microbiology, Vol:113, ISSN:0950-382X, Pages:143-152

Stach L, Morgan RM, Makhlouf L, et al., 2019, Crystal structure of the catalytic D2 domain of the AAA+ ATPase p97 reveals a putative helical split-washer-type mechanism for substrate unfolding, Febs Letters, ISSN:0014-5793

Lai H-E, Canavan C, Cameron L, et al., 2019, Synthetic biology and the United Nations, Trends in Biotechnology, Vol:37, ISSN:0167-7799, Pages:1146-1151


Webb AJ, Kelwick R, Wang Y, et al., 2019, AL-PHA beads: bioplastic-bsaed protease biosensors for global health, British Society for Parasitology Autumn Symposium, Belfast, UK

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