University of East Anglia team

Prof. Yaroslav Khimyak

Prof. Yaroslav Khimyak

Professor Yaroslav Khimyak moved to a Chair in solid-state NMR spectroscopy in the School of Pharmacy in UEA in September 2011. Until then he was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry in the University of Liverpool where he was appointed as a Lecturer in 2002. Yaroslav graduated from Ivan Franko Lviv State University in the Ukraine with M.Sc. in Chemistry (1994), obtained an M. Phil. (1997) and a Ph. D. (2000) from the University of Cambridge and subsequently held a position of Oppenheimer Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry in the University of Cambridge (1999 – 2002).

The research in Yaroslav’s group focuses on understanding structure and dynamics of materials with limited long range ordering using solid-state NMR and demonstrated the importance of characterisation of dynamics on different time scales for ratioanalising the properties of such complex solids. The materials of interest include pharmaceutical solids (polymer/drug composites, amorphous pharmaceuticals) and porous materials (polymers, hybrid silicas, MOFs). Their interest in the application of modern solid-state NMR methodology to elucidate the structure of “soft” solids has attracted industrial support to study amorphous polymer-based materials used for the controlled drug release and glasses.

Yaroslav Khimyak is the Head of NMR at Norwich Research Group steering group.

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Dr. Jesus Angulo

Dr. Jesus Angulo

Jesús studied Chemistry at the University of Seville (Spain). He then obtained his doctorate working at the Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas (IIQ) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas and University of Seville, in 2002, in the “Carbohydrate Group” led by Prof. Manuel Martín-Lomas, under the supervision of Dr. Pedro Nieto. His thesis was based on the study of the 3D structures and dynamics of oligosaccharides models of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) by NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations.

Jesus moved to Germany for a three-year postdoctoral stay in the research group of Prof. Thomas Peters at the University of Lübeck, where he received a Marie Curie Intra-European Individual Fellowship to specialize in ligand-based NMR spectroscopy for protein-ligand interactions, with a focus on molecular recognition of substrates by the human blood group B galactosyltransferase (GTB). After that, Jesus re-joined the Carbohydrate Group of IIQ (Seville) in 2006 as a “Juan de la Cierva” postdoctoral scientist. From 2008 to 2013 he worked at the “Glycosystems Laboratory” of the IIQ as a senior scientist, with a prestigious “Ramón y Cajal” award, on NMR and computational chemistry for the study of the interactions of glycosaminoglycans, glycomimetics, and gold glyconanoparticles with protein receptors of relevance in infection processes (anti-HIV-1 2G12 antibody, DC-SIGN and langerin lectins).

From September 2012 to September 2013 Jesus was the Secretary of the NMR Group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry. Jesus joined the School of Pharmacy of the University of East Anglia in August 2013 as a Research Fellow and is currently a Lecturer in NMR Spectroscopy since August 2016 within the research area of Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Materials.

Jesús main research interests focus on the structural and dynamics characterization of biologically active molecules, with a particular focus on glycans, and the molecular recognition of ligands by receptors of both kinds, natural (proteins, nucleic acids,…), or non-natural (materials), heavily relying on NMR spectroscopy and computational techniques.

Research areas include

  • Structural characterization of Ligand-Receptor interactions by NMR Spectroscopy
  • Carbohydrate-Protein interactions. Carbohydrates in drug-delivery.
  • Drug-carrier interactions
  • Ligand-based NMR for “in-cell” ligand-protein interactions
  • Structure and dynamics of biologically active small/medium-sized molecules

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Juan Carlos Muñoz García

Juan Carlos Muñoz García

Juan Carlos holds a PhD in Chemistry, specialized in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and molecular modelling. He carried out his Doctoral Thesis at the Glycosystems Laboratory of the Institute for Chemical Research (CSIC, Spain), where he worked on the determination of the structural and dynamics features of oligosaccharides by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and molecular dynamics simulations, as well as on the elucidation of the structural characteristics of oligosaccharides binding to protein receptors by Saturation Transfer Difference NMR Spectroscopy and computational techniques.

As a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the group of Prof. Anthony Watts (Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford), his research was focused on the study of the interactions of peptide ligands and lipids to GPCRs by NMR and molecular modelling (homology modelling, docking calculations, and coarse‑grained and atomistic MD simulations). Also, he worked on the native extraction and purification of human GPCRs via SMA‑copolymer‑assembled nanoparticles.

Currently, he works as a Senior Research Associate at the School of Pharmacy of the University of East Anglia, within the GelEnz project team. Aiming to provide atomistic insights on their macroscopic properties, his research is focused on the structural and dynamics studies of carbohydrate-based gels, employing a wide variety of NMR approaches ranging from solid-state and HR-MAS to solution-state experiments.

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Valeria Gabrielli

Valeria Gabrielli

Valeria enrolled in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology (single cycle degree with a major in Pharmacy and Industrial Pharmacy) in 2008 at the University of Camerino, Italy. In 2013, she moved to the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, where she conducted her master thesis in the field of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, focusing on the synthesis of new generation promising antibiotics.

In 2015, after her graduation, she was awarded with an abroad specialization grant for post graduate students by the University of Camerino and she moved to the University of East Anglia (UK) where she worked on the development of an extended release and orally active formulation for a chemo-protective drug. In 2016, she obtained a three-month contract as a research assistant and worked on the development of drug eluting contact lenses using electrospray as a novel coating method. Following this, she obtained a BBSRC grant providing funding for her current Ph.D., focused on the formulation of hydrogels based on starch and cellulose and characterisation using a heterogenous NMR spectroscopy approach (solid state, solution state and HR-MAS).

"Natural building blocks into valuable products"