Dr Richard Hopkinson

Dr Richard Hopkinson

Lecturer of Organic Chemistry

Tel: 0116 252 5185

Email: richard.hopkinson@leicester.ac.uk

Group Pages: www.le.ac.uk/hopkinson-group

Personal details


My research is focused on understanding how reactions between biomolecules and reactive small molecules, most notably formaldehyde, affect biological systems in health and disease. Formaldehyde, the simplest aldehyde, is a highly-reactive and often toxic electrophile that is a by-product of enzymatic demethylation reactions in human cells. The mechanisms underpinning formaldehyde toxicity are poorly understood, which is likely a consequence of its complex and uncharacterised reactivity with biomolecules, often involving unstable intermediates. My research uses chemical/synthetic, biochemical and cellular methods to identify and characterise the complex biologically relevant chemistry of formaldehyde with biomolecules. Ultimately, we hope to define the mechanisms underpinning formaldehyde homeostasis and biology in health and disease.

Selected Publications

  • Metampicillin is a cyclic aminal produced by reaction of ampicillin with formaldehyde, Reinbold R, John T, Spingardi P, Kawamura A, Schofield CJ, Hopkinson RJ, Scientific Reports, 2020, 10, 17955
  • Formaldehyde quantification using ampicillin is not selective, Reinbold R, John T, Spingardi P, Kawamura A, Thompson AL, Schofield CJ , Hopkinson RJ, Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, 18289
  • NMR Analyses on N-Hydroxymethylated Nucleobases – Implications for Formaldehyde Toxicity and Nucleic Acid Demethylases, Shishodia S, Zhang D, El-Sagheer A, Brown T, Claridge TDW, Schofiel CJ, Hopkinson RJ, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 2018, 16, 4021-4032

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Contact Details

Department of Chemistry
University of Leicester
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

Email: chemistry@le.ac.uk

Tel: [+44] (0)116 252 2100

Fax: [+44] (0)116 252 3789

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