School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Eimer Tuite

Senior Lecturer in Biophysical 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)
     – TRDF, Committee C, and ALERT panels (2009-2017)
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)

  • Rachel Little (PhD): Enzymatically Engineered Designer DNA
  • Behnaz Akbari (PhD): Assembly and Applications of Functional DNA

Postgraduate Alumni

  • 2018: Samantha Lunn (PhD): Modified DNA for Nanoarchitecture (with Andrew Pike)
  • 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)

43 : Peer-Reviewed Papers and Reviews
26 : h-index
43 : g-index
62 : average citations per paper
10 : highly cited (≥100) papers
  3 : patents

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