Prof. Rob Field
Professor Rob Field leads a team of chemists, biochemists and biologists united by an interest in carbohydrates and natural products. Our home is in beautiful city of Norwich, UK at John Innes Centre (JIC), an independent international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology. The research group of Professor Rob Field works in interface of chemistry and biology focusing on developing and exploiting chemical tools and principles to address questions in plant and microbial carbohydrate metabolism. Projects typically involve some combination of chemical and enzymatic synthesis, inhibitor design and assessment, biochemistry, structural biology, metabolomic, proteomic and transcriptomic analysis. From a biology perspective, we work cross-Kingdom: Arabidopsis, barley, Euglena, Streptomyces, E. coli, flu virus, the African and American trypanosome.
Dr. Peterson de Andrade
Peterson de Andrade obtained his degree as a pharmacist in 2005 at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences – University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). From the same institution, he achieved his Masters (2008) and PhD (2012) in organic chemistry – carbohydrate synthesis. In 2012 he undertook his postdoctoral research at the Department of Chemistry – University of Cambridge (UK) to work on new approaches to synthesise stabilised α-helix mimetic inhibitors for protein-protein interactions (chemical biology – peptide synthesis). In 2014 he moved back to Brazil to work as a postdoctoral researcher on the design and synthesis of small molecules inhibitors toward enzymes involved in Alzheimer’s disease (medicinal chemistry – heterocycle synthesis). More recently (2018), he joined Prof. Rob Field’s group as PDRA to work on the GelEnz project (chemical and enzymatic synthesis) at John Innes Centre – Norwich.
Dr. Giulia Pergolizzi
After training as an organic chemist in Italy, Guilia continued her studies at UEA and King’s College, London receiving a PhD degree in Pharmacy in 2012. She joined Prof. Rob Field group at JIC as a PDRA in 2013, working on a variety of projects associated with carbohydrate chemistry and biology. To tackle the problem of efficacy of anti-Burkholderia vaccine she worked on preparations of semi-synthetic glycoconjugates based on capsular polysaccharide (CPS) of the bacterium, CPS fragments and several types of carriers including virus-like particles (VLP).
More recently, she has been involved in a large collaborative research programme between several academic and industrial partners which is aimed at the identification and characterization of new glycoenzymes with desirable bioactivities for industrial application in diagnostics, nutraceuticals, biofuels, etc. Thousands of carbohydrate-active enzymes are known to be involved in biosynthesis and metabolism of glycans and glycoconjugates but only limited number of these enzymes found wide-spread industrial applications. Her research focus is on the biochemical characterization of glycoenzymes and investigation of their use in the production of known glycans in a cheaper and greener way, as well as the development of new glycomaterials and their characterization. Synthetic organic chemistry and enzymatic synthesis, bioconjugation and biochemical analysis, NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are her main areas of expertise enabling her to progress her research.