Professor Paul Beales

Professor Paul Beales


Professor Beales joined Leeds as a Senior Research Fellow in November 2010 before being promoted to Lecturer (2015), Associate Professor (2016), then Professor of Soft Matter and Biophysics (2022). Prior to Leeds, Paul obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2005) before undertaking postdoctoral appointments at Princeton University (2005-2008) and Yale University (2008-2010).


  • Research Section Head, Functional Materials and Molecular Assemblies

Research interests

Our research is highly interdisciplinary at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology. We are interested in understanding, characterising and engineering of soft and biological materials. Motivation can be taken from several perspectives, including understanding fundamental physical properties and interactions of macromolecular and supramolecular structures in living systems, developing our understanding of life through efforts to reconstitute cellular processes and functions within minimal systems and the design of novel materials with technological applications, in particular we have interests in developing new materials for the formulation and delivery of drugs to develop the next generation of smart medicines.

The main focus of many of our projects revolves around self-assembled membranes, using them as models for biological membranes or harnessing their capacity for encapsulation of chemical cargo or processes within the lumen of vesicle architectures. Vesicles are of interest for development of novel technologies including nanomedicines, nanoreactors, controlled release systems and artificial cells.  

<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

  • Institute of Physics
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Society for Natural Sciences
  • Biophysical Society

Student education

I am part of the Physical Chemistry teaching section. On top of the regular physical chemistry tutorials and teaching labs, I lecture material related to soft matter, thermodynamics, drug delivery and biological membranes. The multidisciplinary nature of my research interests also lends itself well to my involvement in the delivery of the Natural Sciences programme.

Research groups and institutes

  • Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Crystallisation and Directed Assembly
<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>
    <li><a href="//,-functional-membrane-interfaces-for-artificial-cells">Engineering dynamic, functional membrane interfaces for artificial cells</a></li>