School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Eimer Tuite

CHEMISTRY | Senior Lecturer in Biophysical Chemistry | Senior Tutor in Chemistry



The Tuite Lab 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. Together with the Pike Lab, we form the Bioinspired Molecular Engineering Group.

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


My undergraduate and postgraduate studies were at Trinity College Dublin ( 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 ( 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 Nanoscience and Materials Section.

Qualifications and Previous Positions

1987: BA (4 yrs) in Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics and Maths), Trinity College Dublin (Cocker Medal)
1992: PhD in Chemistry with John Kelly, Trinity College Dublin
1990-1991: President, Trinity College Dublin (DU) Graduate Students' Union.

1993-1995: Wenner-Gren/SI Research Fellow with Bengt Norden, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg
1995-1996: EU Marie Curie Research 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 Scientific Activities

EPSRC Peer Review College (2002-2005, 2006-2009, 2010-2016, 2016- )
BBSRC Pool of Experts (2009-2013); Occasional Panel Member (2014- )
     – TRDF, Committee C, and ALERT panels
EU Evaluation Expert (2010- ; FP7 & H2020)
     – Life Science and Chemistry: IF; ITN; RISE; COST; WIDESPREAD
ERC Evaluation Expert (2014- )
     – Life Science Starter Grants panel (LS7 - Diagnostics, Therapies, Public Health)


Taekwondo, swimming, tennis, pilates, yoga



Research Grants

Excited about our new EU International Networking Grant - MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS THROUGH DNA MODIFICATION AND INTERFACIAL ENGINEERING - "DNASURF". Looking forward to working with excellent colleagues in Dublin, Birmingham, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country), Jerusalem, Singapore, Sapporo, Sydney, Melbourne, and Provo (Utah).

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 extension methods for synthesis of modified DNA.

Chemical Nanoscience Labs Research

Current PhD Students (with Andrew Pike)

  • Samantha Lunn (PhD): Modified DNA for Nanoarchitecture (with Andrew Pike)
  • Rachel Little (PhD): Enzymatically Engineered Designer DNA
  • Behnaz Akbari (PhD): Assembly and Applications of Functional DNA

Postgraduate Alumni

  • 2016: Colette Whitfield (MRes/PhD): Enzymatic Synthesis of Micrometer Repeat Sequence DNA (with Andrew Pike and Bernard Connolly)
  • 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

Eimer M Tuite; Google Scholar


Undergraduate Teaching

CHY2003 Topics in Chemistry - Polymers (module leader)
CHY2201 Physical Chemistry
CHY8428 Applications of Physical Chemistry in Energy, Environmental, and Biological Research - Biophysical Chemistry (& module leader)
CHY8430 Advanced Problem Solving

CHY3411 Stage 3 Project
CHY8410 MChem Research Project

Undergraduate Roles

Senior Tutor