Prof David Leys PhD

Professor of Structural Biology

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David did both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Ghent, Belgium, where he obtained a PhD in Biochemistry in 2000. Following a brief postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh with Prof. S.K. Chapman on a Belgian Government fellowship, David joined the University of Leicester Biochemistry department in 2001 as a tenure track research fellow. He obtained a Royal Society University Research fellowship in 2003 (until 2011) and a EMBO YIP award in 2004. He moved to Manchester in 2005 to take a position as Reader in Molecular Enzymology. He was made Professor in Structural Biology in 2010, and was awarded the 2015 Wain medal for his research in biochemistry.

David is interested in the atomic basis of life, and uses structural biology combined with a range of biochemical techniques to understand how structure relates to function in biology.  David's research has focused on elucidation of novel mechanisms of interprotein electron transfer, the evolution of substrate channelling strategies, enzymatic H-tunnelling reactions, and the basis of organohalide respiration. His group recently uncovered new roles for vitamins B2 and B12.

In recent years, David has established an independent research group with funding from BBSRC, ERC, the Royal Society and industry, currently comprising ~4 postdoctoral scientists and 5 PhD students working in the area of protein structure-function analysis.

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