Professor Bruce Turnbull

Professor Bruce Turnbull


Bruce Turnbull is a synthetic chemist with interests in synthetic biology.

  • BSc in Chemistry (1991-1995, University of St Andrews)
  • PhD in Carbohydrate Chemistry (1995-1998, University of St Andrews)
  • Wellcome Trust International Prize Travelling Research Fellow (1998-2001, UCLA)
  • Wellcome Trust International Prize Travelling Research Fellow and PDRA (2001-2004, School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Leeds)
  • Lecturer in Chemical Biology (2004-2005, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds)
  • Royal Society University Research Fellow (2005-2013, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds)
  • Associate Professor (2013-2016, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds)
  • Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry (2016-present, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds)

Bruce received the 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Carbohydrate Award in recognition of his work on carbohydrate synthetic methods and his studies of protein-carbohydrate interactions. He led an EU COST Action network (2011-15) that brought together over 60 research groups from 21 countries to pursue interdisciplinary projects in “Multivalent Glycosystems for Nanoscience”. He was Chair of the RSC Carbohydrate Interest Group during their 50th Anniversary Year (2016-17). He is also a member of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology.


  • Programme Manager for MSc in Chemical Biology and Drug Design

Research interests

Bruce’s current research interests encompass the use of chemical and enzymatic methods to make and modify carbohydrates and proteins for use in targeted delivery and synthetic biology.

A major focus of his work over recent years has been in understanding and inhibiting bacterial toxin adhesion and also re-engineering bacterial toxins for new purposes.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • CChem FRSC

Student education

Bruce currently teaches organic and biological chemistry at all levels from first year undergraduate to masters level. He is also the programme manager for our MSc in Chemical Biology and Drug Design.

Research groups and institutes

  • Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>