Professor Michael Webb

Professor Michael Webb


I am an organic chemist with particular interests in biological chemistry. I gained his MSci and PhD from the University of Cambridge working with Professor Chris Abell. I then undertook postdoctoral work with Professor Stephen Benkovic (Penn State) and Professor Alison Smith (Plant Sciences, Cambridge). He joined the School of Chemistry as a Lecturer in Chemical Biology in 2007, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor of Biological Chemistry in 2023. My research interests lie at the interface of biochemistry and chemistry and I am a member of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology.


  • Director of Research and Innovation

Research interests

I have long-standing research interests in both biosynthesis and mechanistic aspects of protein chemistry. This has included work on the pathways to the essential metabolites pantothenate (vitamin B5), thiamine (vitamin B1), purines (the constituent building blocks of DNA) and sirohaem. Our current studies in this area are currently focussed on the nature of regulation within such pathways. More recently, we have developed interests in the controlled modification of proteins, the chemical biology of phosphorylation as well as the biosynthesis of natural products. Recent highlights include the characterisation of a fifth protein essential for pantothenate biosynthesis in bacteria, developing methods for quantitative N-terminal labelling of proteins and the synthesis of stable analogues of phosphorylated histidine. The group uses a wide range of complementary biophysical approaches including calorimetry, macromolecular crystallography and organic synthesis. More detailed information about recent research and current projects can be found at the group website.

<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>


  • PhD
  • MA MSci

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Biochemical Society

Student education

Courses taught in 2023/24

  • CHEM1101 Chemistry 1: Bonding and Behaviour (Module Leader)
  • CHEM5013M Foundations of Drug Discovery
  • CHEM560X Advanced Topics in Chemistry topics O2 Biological Chemistry and CWM2 Advanced Medicinal Chemistry

Research groups and institutes

  • Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Current postgraduate researchers

<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>