Recent news

New PhD Students

Welcome to our new PhD students Chris Arter, Abbie Leggott, Scott Rice and Luke Trask who are now hard at work in the Nelson lab. Click on the People tab to find out more about their research.


Welcome to the home page of Professor Adam Nelson's research group.  We are interested in synthetic organic chemistry and its application to biological problems.  Most of our work involves the development of new methods and strategies for discovering biologically-active small molecules.  Synthesis is an immensely powerful tool in Chemical Biology, which we exploit in the directed evolution of enzymes as tailored catalysts for synthetic chemistry, and in chemical genetics, where we discover and exploit new small molecular modulators of protein function.  Browse our research pages to find out more about what we do!

Our laboratories are superbly equipped for research at the interface between chemistry and biology.  We moved into newly refurbished laboratories in the School of Chemistry at Leeds, which provide 2m fume cupboards for each researcher.  We are located close to facilities for analytical and preparative HPLC, semi-preparative mass-directed HPLC, analytical LC-MS, IR, NMR (up to 600 MHz), automated synthesis and protein expression. 

Professor Nelson is a member of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds and holds a EPSRC Established Career Fellowship (2016-21).  He is an investigator on the EPSRC programme grant, PoPPI, that focuses on new tools to enable protein-protein interaction inhibitor discovery.

Current and recent research has been funded by EPSRC, BBSRC, the Wellcome Trust and industry (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda).  Professor Nelson was awarded the RSC Meldola medal (2001), a Pfizer Academic Award (2002), an AstraZeneca Research award in Organic Chemistry (2005) and an RSC Corday-Morgan medal (2007).