Professor Paul Freemont
Imperial College London
Paul Freemont is also Chair of Protein Crystallography and currently Head of the Division of Molecular Biosciences and co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation at Imperial College London. He joined Imperial in 2000 as Director of the Centre for Structural Biology leaving the CRUK London Institute where he established experimental Structural Biology research. His own interdisciplinary research interests have focused on understanding how disease-linked proteins work at the molecular level and he has made several important contributions in this field including the identification and naming of a novel protein domain (RING finger) found in many cancer-linked proteins including BRCA1 and MDM2. He has also determined a number of important crystal structures including the human DNA repair enzyme Ape-1, XRCC1 BRCT domain, procine spasmolytic polypeptide, and the disease associated ATPase p97. In addition his laboratory has a strong interest in nuclear cell biology, which was driven by the co-discovery of SUMO-1 as a modifier of the Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia associated PML protein. He has also developed new quantitative approaches to aid the understanding of mammalian interphase nuclear organisation.
More recently he has developed research interests in Synthetic Biology, an emerging field that aims to combine the strengths of the engineering and physical sciences with biological sciences to enable the design and engineering of new biology systems and devices. Together with Professor Richard Kitney, he has established the EPSRC Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation at Imperial. The centre is the first UK centre in Synthetic Biology and aims to develop an engineering framework and new technology platforms to enable synthetic biology research in areas of bioenergy, biosensors, biomaterials and metabolic engineering.
In addition to his research interest, Professor Freemont has held a number of external professional positions including membership of the CRUK Biological Sciences funding committee including external quinquennial reviews (since 2006); member of the Wellcome Trust Genes Molecules and Cells panel (2002-2005); member of the Wellcome Trust fellowships panel (2002-2005); member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Synthetic Biology enquiry (2007-2009); external review member of several UK Biosciences Departments (2008-present); member of BBSRC pool of experts (2008-present).