Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Professor Jeremy Lakey

Professor of Structural Biochemistry



PhD in Biophysics, University of East Anglia
BSc Hons in Zoology, University of Liverpool

Previ ous Positions

1985-1987 SERC/NATO Fellow Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire, CNR Orleans France.

1987-90 EMBO/EMBL fellow  European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg. Germany

1990-1993 Staff Scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg. Germany
1993-1997 Lecturer, School of Biochemistry and Genetics. Newcastle.
1997-2000 Reader, School of Biochemistry and Genetics. Newcastle.
2000- 2019 Professor of Structural Biochemistry, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

2000- 2019 Professor of Structural Biochemistry, Biosciences Institute


Research Interests

We are interested in the engineering, structures, interactions and conformational changes of proteins in solution and in membranes. We use a combination of biochemical and biophysical tools but try to avoid the worst perils of reductionism (see footnote) by preserving a strong biological interest.

The core subject area is the bacterial outer membrane (a nanoscale Hadrian’s Wall) but this has spawned projects in natively unfolded proteins (the relaxed guys), bionanotechnology of surfaces (a chance to use physics tricks invented by others), neutron science (a chance to play on seriously big bits of kit) and biopharmaceutical analysis (doing  less crazy experiments that are useful to industry at the same time).

In recent years we have also developed the unbelievably well behaved Caf1 protein polymer into a range of biomaterials.

We particularly enjoy new challenges in biophysical chemistry if they also take us to exotic, gastronomic or scenic locations.

If you are interested in our work please read some of our exciting, stunning publications and/or get in touch!

Keywords: Biophysics, Membrane proteins, Protein-protein interactions, Bionanotechnology, Caf1, Protein Engineering

Postgraduate Supervision




Wellcome Trust


"My own scientific career was a descent from higher to lower dimension, led by a desire to understand life. I went from animals to cells to bacteria, from bacteria to molecules, from molecules to electrons.

The story had its irony, for molecules and electrons have no life at all.

On my way, the life I was trying to study ran out between my fingers."

"The Perils of Reductionism" (1972) Albert Szent-Gyorgi


Undergraduate Teaching

I teach on a wide range of Protein Biochemistry topics  in Years 1-3.

Postgraduate Teaching