Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Visiting Professor



r.leatherbarrow Website




ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





Until August 2013, Robin Leatherbarrow was Dean for the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Chair of Chemical Biology and Head of the Chemical Biology Section within the Chemistry Department. He is one of the leading UK chemical biologists and has been greatly involved in the promotion and development of this new area of chemistry over recent years. His research is concerned with molecular recognition between proteins and their ligands, which involves a multidisciplinary blend of physical and biological sciences, ranging from structural biology, through enzymology to synthetic chemistry. A leading exponent of protein engineering, he was involved at the outset in pioneering work in this area along with Sir Alan Fersht. Since then, he has advanced methods to study ligand binding, particularly concerning enzyme-inhibitor interactions. His work on the study and rational design of enzyme inhibitors has attracted considerable industrial interest from leading pharmaceutical companies. Most of his research efforts involve the application of biophysical or chemical tools to new areas of biology. He has particular interest in peptide synthesis, modern enzymology and developing new enzyme inhibitors. Biological interests include the action of protease enzymes as well as other peptide-modifying enzymes.

Robin is now a visiting Professor within the Department of Chemistry and remains actively involved in research with colleagues from the Department. His current post is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research, Scholarship & Knowledge Transfer) at Liverpool John Moores University [link].

Robin was formerly co-director of the Institute of Chemical Biology, and was responsible for establishing the first EU Marie Curie Centre in Chemical Biology in the UK. Robin chairs the Peptide and Protein Science group of the Royal Society of Chemistry.



Bell AS, Yu Z, Hutton JA, et al., 2020, Novel thienopyrimidine inhibitors of Leishmania N-myristoyltransferase with on-target activity in intracellular amastigotes, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol:14, ISSN:0022-2623, Pages:7740-7765

Mousnier A, Bell AS, Swieboda DP, et al., 2018, Fragment-derived inhibitors of human N-myristoyltransferase block capsid assembly and replication of the common cold virus, Nature Chemistry, Vol:10, ISSN:1755-4330, Pages:599-606

Cilibrizzi A, Fedorova M, Collins J, et al., 2017, A tri-functional vanadium(IV) complex to detect cysteine oxidation, Dalton Transactions, Vol:46, ISSN:1477-9226, Pages:6994-7004

Goncalves V, Brannigan JA, Laporte A, et al., 2016, Structure-guided optimization of quinoline inhibitors of Plasmodium N-myristoyltransferase, Medchemcomm, Vol:8, ISSN:2040-2511, Pages:191-197

Aronica PG, Verma C, Popovic B, et al., 2016, The Parasol Protocol for computational mutagenesis, Protein Engineering Design & Selection, Vol:29, ISSN:1741-0134, Pages:253-261

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