Portrait of Dr Andrew Lawrence

Dr Andrew Lawrence

Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences

About

Andrew obtained his BSc in Biochemistry and Chemistry (double Hons) from the University of Southampton in 2003. He then studied for a PhD at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Professor Martin Warren (2003-2007). During this time he developed his interest the biosynthesis of natural products and the mechanisms of proteins which catalyse redox reactions. Following his PhD he moved with Professor Warren to the University of Kent where took up a postdoctoral research position (2007-2018). Throughout this period his research has focused on the enzymology of redox active proteins and the elucidation and manipulation of biosynthetic pathways involved in tetrapyrrole biosynthesis. Andrew is currently a lecturer in Molecular Biosciences and a member of the Industrial Biotechnology group. ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5853-5409

Research interests

Andrew has a broad interest in the biosynthesis of natural products and the chemistry which underpins their biosynthetic pathways. His research is centred around understanding how biosynthetic pathways function, investigating the mechanisms of the enzymes involved and ultimately how these processes can be manipulated. This is achieved using a range of microbiological, biochemical and spectroscopic techniques.
Our key interests and the approaches we use are as follows: 

  • Synthetic biology 
  • Enzymology 
  • Protein structure/function 
  • Biochemical pathways 
  • Antibiotic biosynthesis 
  • B12-dependent Radical SAM proteins 
  • Redox processes 
  • Flavoproteins and metalloproteins 
  • Biophysical characterisation 
  • Spectroscopy (EPR, NMR, UV-Vis and Fluorescence) 
  • X-ray crystallography 
  • HPLC-MS

Teaching

Undergraduate 

  • BI520 – Metabolism & Metabolic Disease 
  • BI521 – Metabolism & Metabolic Regulation

Supervision

MSc-R projects available for 2021

Investigating the biosynthesis of the unusual base, DMB (MSc by Research Biochemistry)

This project looks at the “chicken or egg” question of whether vitamin B12 is required for the biogenesis of itself. The project will investigate the role of vitamin B12 in the biosynthesis of 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB), an essential component part of the vitamin B12 structure. The project will involve microbiology, molecular biology and protein biochemistry.

Vitamin analogues as probes and imaging agents (MSc by Research Biochemistry)

In this project we will use synthetic and chemical biology techniques to produce novel vitamin derivatives which can be used as imaging agents and probes of biological function.  This will be achieved through manipulation of the biosynthetic pathway and the use of cofactor analogues to introduce new functionality into an existing molecular framework.

PhD student and Research Master applications from UK, EU, & Overseas are always considered. Various funding sources can be explored. Please send your CV and summary of your research interests to: a.lawrence-219@kent.ac.uk

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