Dr Robert G. Britton

Research Associate Department of Cancer Studies, Honorary Lecturer Department of Chemistry

Contact details

Floor 2,Rob Britton
George Porter Building,
University Road,
LE1 7RH.
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2126
Email: rgb6@le.ac.uk


Personal details

  • MChem (Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Experience, University of Manchester
  • PhD in Biological Chemistry, University of Manchester
  • Research Assistant, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Leicester
  • Research Associate, Dept. of Cancer Studies, University of Leicester
  • Honorary Lecturer, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Leicester


Research interests

Chemical Biology

Chemical biology involves the use of chemical tools to interact with biological systems with the aim of better understanding biological processes.  Chemical probes can be used in simplified systems such as quantifying a protein-ligand interaction all the way up to pre-clinical studies in in vivo models to assess local and systemic effects of diseases and treatments.  Chemical biology in underpinned by novel synthetic organic chemistry and an understanding of the biochemistry problems posed.

Medicinal Chemistry

The design of molecules based on protein structure and subsequent synthesis is a crucial step in the drug development process.  By synthesising structurally relevant compounds we can start to validate candidate target proteins and develop small-molecule inhibitors from tool compounds towards therapeutics. 

Chemical proteomics

‘Omics’ research is the study of an entire set of biological molecules in a given system, such as genomics and proteomics being the study of all the genes and proteins respectively.  By quantifying changes in biological molecules under different conditions, such as healthy v diseased or placebo v treatment we can identify potential drug targets, discover biomarkers and even start to predict clinical response and personalise medicine.  The field of chemical proteomics utilises high-definition mass spectrometry to study protein-chemical interactions (most commonly a drug-like molecule) which can be used to elucidate biological mechanisms of action, identify ‘off-target’ proteins, or potentially identify novel target proteins for drug discovery.


Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA)


Hong Cai, Edwina Scott, Abeer Kholghi, Catherine Andreadi, Alessandro Rufini, Ankur Karmokar, Robert G. Britton, Emma Horner-Glister, Peter Greaves, Dhafer Jawad, Mark James, Lynne Howells, Ted Ognibene, Michael Malfatti, Christopher Goldring, Neil Kitteringham, Joanne Walsh, Maria Viskaduraki, Kevin West, Andrew Miller, David Hemingway, William P. Steward, Andreas J. Gescher, Karen Brown. Cancer chemoprevention: Evidence of a nonlinear dose response for the protective effects of resveratrol in humans and mice.  Science Translational Medicine Vol. 7, p. 298-117, 2015

Robert G. Britton, Christina Kovoor, Karen Brown.  Direct molecular targets of resveratrol: identifying key interactions to unlock complex mechanisms.  RESVERATROL AND HEALTH Book Series:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Vol. 1348,  p.  124-133,  2015

Catherine Andreadi, Robert G Britton, Ketan R Patel, Karen Brown.  Resveratrol-sulfates provide an intracellular reservoir for generation of parent resveratrol, which induces autophagy in cancer cells. Autophagy Vol. 10, p. 524 – 525, 2013

Ketan R. Patel, Catherine Andreadi, Robert G. Britton, Emma Horner-Glister, Ankur Karmokar, Stewart Sale, Victoria A. Brown, Dean E. Brenner, Rajinder Singh, William P. Steward, Andreas J. Gescher, Karen Brown.  Sulfate Metabolites Provide an Intracellular Pool for Resveratrol Generation and Induce Autophagy with Senescence.  Science Translational Medicine Vol. 5, p. 205ra133, 2013

Charles Simon, Robert G. Britton*, Hong Cai, Andreas J. Gescher, Karen Brown, Paul R. Jenkins.  Novel analogues of resveratrol: metabolism and inhibition of colon cancer cell proliferation.  Tetrahedron Vol. 69, p. 6203-6212, 2013

Britton RG, Horner-Glister E, Pomenya OA, Smith EE, Denton R, Jenkins PR, Steward WP, Brown K, Gescher A, Sale S.  Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel flavonols as potential anti-prostate cancer agents.  European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  Vol. 54 p. 952-958, 2012

Cai H, Sale S, Britton RG, Brown K, Steward WP, Gescher AJ.  Pharmacokinetics in mice and metabolism in murine and human liver fractions of the putative cancer chemopreventive agents 3 ',4 ',5 ',5,7-pentamethoxyflavone and tricin (4 ',5,7-trihydroxy-3 ',5 '-dimethoxyflavone).  Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology Vol. 67, Issue 2, p. 255-263, 2011

Patel KR, Brown VA, Jones DJ, Britton RG, Hemingway D, Miller AS, West KP, Booth TD, Perloff M, Crowell JA, Brenner DE, Steward WP, Gescher AJ, Brown K.  Clinical Pharmacology of Resveratrol and Its Metabolites in Colorectal Cancer Patients.  Cancer Research Vol. 70, Issue 19, p. 7392-7399, 2010

Howells LM, Britton RG, Mazzoletti M, Greaves P, Broggini M, Brown K, Steward WP, Gescher AJ, Sale S.  Preclinical Colorectal Cancer Chemopreventive Efficacy and p53-Modulating Activity of 3 ',4 ',5 '-Trimethoxyflavonol, a Quercetin Analogue.  Cancer Prevention Research  Vol. 3, Issue 8, p. 929-939, 2010

Cai H, Sale S, Schmid R, Britton RG, Brown K, Steward WP, Gescher AJ.  Flavones as Colorectal Cancer Chemopreventive Agents-Phenol-O-Methylation Enhances Efficacy.  Cancer Prevention Research Vol. 2, Issue 8, p. 743-750, 2009

Marsden DA, Jones DJ, Britton RG, Ognibene T, Ubick E, Johnson GE, Farmer PB, Brown K.  Dose-Response Relationships for N7-(2-Hydroxyethyl)Guanine Induced by Low-Dose [C-14]Ethylene Oxide: Evidence for a Novel Mechanism of Endogenous Adduct Formation.  Cancer Research  Vol. 69, Issue 7, p. 3052-3059, 2009

Britton RG, Fong I, Saad S, Brown K, Steward WP, Gescher A, Sale S.  Synthesis of the flavonoid 3 ',4 ',5 '-trimethoxyflavonol and its determination in plasma and tissues of mice by HPLC with fluorescence detection.  Journal of Chromatography B-Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences  Vol. 877, Issue 10, p. 939-942, 2009

Jenkins PR, Wilson J, Emmerson D, Garcia MD, Smith MR, Gray SJ, Britton RG, Mahale S, Chaudhuri B.  Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new tryptamine and tetrahydro-beta-carboline-based selective inhibitors of CDK4.  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry  Vol. 16, Issue 16, p. 7728-7739, 2008

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Powerful pre-clinical platform for anti-cancer drug and biomarker discovery

Pre-clinical models that can accurately predict outcomes in the clinic are much sort after in the field of cancer drug discovery and development.  Read about how patient derived explants offer many advantages and are the powerful model of choice. A copy of the review, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: PDE Platform


SEND Study Success

Congratulations to Chris Avery, who with collaborating colleagues published findings of the SEND study, a multi-centre randomised trial using two different surgical protocols for mouth cancer treatment.  A nationwide first for this type of trial, using real-world data.  The paper, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: SEND Paper


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Join up for a walk on the park Friday lunchtime - details here.

More information from Jenny McNair jm65@le.ac.uk

Contact Details

Leicester Cancer Research Centre
Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170
E: cancerstudies@le.ac.uk

(Please note this email address should not be used for clinical referrals or patient correspondence)

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