Michael Barber

Current Research

Protein dynamics and structure are intimately related to health and disease. My research aims to understand both the architecture and dynamics of proteins in relation to function and disease. To this end it is vital to achieve a systematic description of protein systems. This can only be acheived by using a combination of biophysical techniques. Including, but not limited to, high resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and native mass spectrometry (MS). Such combinations may elucidate tertiary (XRD) and quaternary (MS) structure along with vital dynamical properties (NMR). I benefit from the extensive experience in NMR and XRD from my two supervisors, Andrew Baldwin (Dept. of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry) and Robert Gilbert (The Division of Structural Biology). Our interdisciplinary approach is used to study three particular protein systems; Small Heat Shock protein chaperone function, Glucocerebrosidase in relation to Gaucher's and Parkinson's disease, and terminal uridyl transferases in the cancer Lin28/Let7 pathway.



  • University of Leeds, Dept. of Biological sciences - BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences with Industry (1st Class)


  • Industrial biotechnology development - GlaxoSmithKline
    Supervisor: Ms Nicola Rawlinson

    Development of new strains for biotechnological use and natural product production

    • Worked closely with co-workers to deliver 11% improvement in yield of natural product
    • Developed business orientated skillset, delivering presentations to coworkers and biotechnology development unit management
    • Collaborated with international companies to deliver novel approaches to microbial biotechnology screening
    • Identified new technologies, such as the atmosphere controlled RAMOS incubator, to enhance industrial production
    • Applied statistical design and analysis of experiments through 'Design Expert 7' software
  • Research assistant - Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology
  • Supervisor: Dr. Thomas Edwards & Prof. Michelle Peckham

    X-Ray crystallography determined structure of Myosin VI

    • Acquired funding through nationwide competitive application for 3 month research internship
    • Initiated new project in the laboratory of Professor M. Peckham and Dr. T. Edwards.
    • Expanded repertoire of techniques in production, purification and crystallisation of target protein

  • Research assistant John Innes centre - The Sainsbury Laboratory
  • Supervisor: Dr. Eric Ward & Dr. Matthew Moscou

    Genomic mapping of barley cereal rust resistance genes

    • Mapped cereal rust resistance genes to barley genome as a 3 month fixed term research assistant
    • Collaborated closely with a small team of plant scientists
    • Utilised high throughput PCR and restriction digestion analysis to deliver genome maps

  • BSc (Hons) Project, University of Leeds
  • Supervisor: Prof. Anthony Turner

    Regulation of Alzheimer's disease Amyloid precursor protein (APP) degradation via chromatin remodeling induced by APP intracellular domain

    • Executed successful research project to strict deadline
    • Developed technical skills in molecular biology and biochemistry
    • First class mark awarded in practical assessment, viva, and thesis


  • Python scripting for in house data analysis
  • Developing C, PERL and HTML languages
  • GIMP, Adobe illustrator, Linux, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.


  • Oxford University Student Union (OUSU), widening access scheme - Schools and Students liaison
  • Oxford International School, GCSE and A-level science tutor
  • Volunteer science teacher, Hinduvidyapeeth school, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
  • University and College Union (UCU), Oxford, Environment Representative
  • Amateur boxing and Speleology enthusiast

Useful links


  • Michael dot Barber AT chem.ox.ac.uk