About The Department

The Department of Biochemistry was established in 1961 under the headship of Professor Sir Hans Kornberg FRS and was initially housed in the Fielding Johnson building. In 1967 the Department moved into the newly constructed Adrian Building where it was based until 2004; in that year it moved to its current home in the £22m Henry Wellcome Building.

In the early days, research in the Department was focused primarily on microbial biochemistry. The arrival of dept_biochem_1986_small.jpgProfessor Bill Shaw in 1974 and the Medical School in 1975 brought an expansion of the Department and the development of new areas. Soon after, Sir Hans moved to Cambridge and Professor Bill Brammar was appointed as his successor in 1977. Bill Brammar was key to the introduction of molecular cloning techniques and established an important industrial link via the ICI joint laboratory. He went on the play a major role in the University, retiring as Pro-Vice Chancellor in 2008. In the meantime, Professor Bill Shaw widened the scope of protein science within the Department and laid the ground work for the development of NMR and crystallography. Together the two Bill’s took on the headship alternately during the period 1975-2000. (Click on above image for the Department photograph taken in 1986)

Thereafter Professor David Critchley took over at the helm and the Department expanded its research interests in eukaryotic molecular cell biology. From 2000 to 2004 Professor Gordon Roberts chaired the Department, having been instrumental in setting up the NMR laboratory (now the Henry Wellcome Laboratories of Structural Biology) in 1986. His role expanded to Chairman of the School of Biological sciences in 2004, when Dr Tim Harrison took on the headship of the Department. During these later years the Department has initiated a number of research facilities and services, from DNA and protein sequencing to transgenic mice, which now cross Departmental boundaries.

For a recent summary of Department activities see pages 23-25 of the University Annual Report 2007-8

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Contact Details

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

T: +44(0)116 229 7038
E: MolCellBiol@le.ac.uk

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