Dr Eimer Tuite
Senior Lecturer in Biophysical Chemistry


The Tuite group works at the interface of life and physical sciences, applying chemical and physical tools to biological, materials, and environmental problems. I have particular interest in DNA chemistry, dynamics, and recognition in the context of nano-assembly, synthetic biology, and molecular diagnostics. Another research line involves optical spectroscopy, photophysics, photochemistry, and photobiology.

Google Scholar
ResearcherID: A-4356-2012
ORCID: 0000-0002-2805-4858


My undergraduate and postgraduate studies were at Trinity College Dublin (www.tcd.ie) where I completed my PhD in 1992 with Prof John Kelly on photosensitized damage of DNA. I then moved to Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast for postdoctoral work with Prof Bengt Norden at Chalmers University of Technology (www.chalmers.se) in the field of biomolecular recognition, and subsequently accepted a lecturing position there. In 2000 I moved to Newcastle where I have continued to expand my research in Biophysical Chemistry, as a member of the Chemical Nanoscience Lab.

Qualifications and Previous Positions

1987: BA (4 yrs) in Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics and Maths), Trinity College Dublin (Cocker Medallist)
1992: PhD in Chemistry with John Kelly, Trinity College Dublin
1993-1995: Wenner-Gren Research Fellow with Bengt Norden, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg
1995-1996: Marie Curie Fellow with Bengt Norden, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg
1996-2000: Assistant Professor in Biophysical Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg
1998: Docent in Biophysical Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg

External Activities

EPSRC Peer Review College (2003-2016)
BBSRC Pool of Experts (2009-2014)
– TRDF, Committee C, and ALERT panels
EU Evaluation Expert (2010-2016)
– Life and Chemistry Fellowships, ITN, RISE panels (FP7 & H2020)
ERC Evaluation Expert (2014-2016)
– Life Science Starter Grants panel (LS7 - Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Public Health)

Research Topics

  • Spectroscopic and biophysical studies of drug interactions with DNA and analogues (especially phenothiazines, cyanines, acridines, ruthenium complexes) including chiral, sequence, and structural recognition.
  • Mechanisms of photocleavage of DNA, including metal complex and cyanine photosensitizers.
  • Electron and energy transfer mediated by DNA and PNA for structural and dynamic studies of nucleic acids, especially with metal complexes.
  • DNA conductivity and charge migration.
  • Nucleic acid-based assembly of nanoscopic architectures.
  • Quantum dots, SERS, and near-field microscopy.
  • Enzymatic DNA synthesis.

Chemical Nanoscience Labs Research

Current PhD Students

  • Colette Whitfield (MRes/PhD): Enzymatic Synthesis of Micrometer Repeat Sequence DNA (with Andrew Pike and Bernard Connolly)
  • Samantha Lunn (PhD): Modified DNA for Nanoarchitecture (with Andrew Pike)

Postgraduate Alumni

  • 2013: Samira Hribesh, PhD: 2'-Deoxy-6-Thioguanosine: Monomer, Oligomer and Long Duplex Synthesis and Binding with Metal Ions (with Andrew Pike)
  • 2013: Shahrbanou "Fariba" Moradpourhafshejani, PhD: Acridine Intercalators as Anchors for Click Functionalisation of DNA (with Andrew Pike)
  • 2008: Andrew McKinley, PhD: Photophysics and DNA Binding of Ruthenium Complexes with Modified DPPZ Ligands
  • 2007: Fiona Dickinson, PhD: Unusual Mechanisms of DNA Damage Induced by Cyanine Dye Photosensitization
  • 2004: Jashveer Grewel, MPhil: DNA Damage Photosensitized by Cobalt and Ruthenium Complexes
  • 2001: Claire Kanony, PhD: DNA Photosensitization by New Drugs for Photoinactivation of Viruses and Phototherapy of Tumours (Thesis awarded PhD Prize for best Chemistry thesis in Toulouse 2001)

Research Sponsors

  • EPSRC, BBSRC, CENAMPS, COST Chemistry, Royal Society, Nuffield Foundation

Metrics (Scopus)

38 : Peer-Reviewed Papers and Reviews
24 : h-index
38 : g-index
61 : citations per paper
  8 : highly cited (≥100) papers
  1 : patent



Undergraduate Teaching

CHY2003 Topics in Chemistry (& module leader)
CHY2201 Physical Chemistry
CHY8428 Applications of Physical Chemistry in Energy, Environmental, and Biological Research (& module leader)

CHY3411 Stage 3 Project
CHY8410 MChem Research Project

Undergraduate Roles

Senior Tutor