Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Professor Martin Noble

Prof of Biom Struct & Anticanc Drug Des


Since October 2011 I have been Professor of Biomolecular Structure and Anticancer Drug Design at Newcastle University, initially in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and now in the Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute.  My group is pursuing structure-function studies of protein complexes involved in regulating transcription and progression through the eukaryotic cell cycle.  

Prior to taking up my appointment in Newcastle I was a Professor at the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics in the Department of Biochemistry,  Oxford University, where I worked from 1993 as postdoc, Royal Society University Research Fellow, University Lecturer, and ultimately Head of Laboratory, after having been recruited initially to the group of Professor Dame Louise Johnson.

My main interest is in understanding the molecular recognition events that drive cellular signalling processes, and in exploiting that understanding to produce new chemical probes and potential leads for drug discovery.  This interest has also l
ead me into the field of bionanotechnology, where protein structures can be recycled as building blocks for novel materials.

Within Newcastle, I am Head of Structural Sciences at the CRUK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit, while my external commitments include being a member of the executive committee of CCP4, the principal resource for software development in macromolecular crystallography, and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Molecular Sciences Cluster of the European Bioinformatics Institute.

Area of expertise

  • Structural biology and biophysical approaches to understand regulatory process at the atomic and molecular level. 
  • Structure based drug discovery. 
  • Computational methods in macromolecular structure determination and analysis.

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I look forward to welcoming M.Res and project students with an interest in 

  • The structural biology of cancer
  • Computational and experimental structure-based drug design 

I also offer lectures and practicals in BGM3064 (Applied Biochemistry), and jointly run a laboratory in BGM2062