Research Themes

Our research represents each of the three core branches of the subject, but is also highly cooperative across them, resulting in three principal research themes:

  • Chemistry of Materials and Catalysis research encompasses synthesis, analysis and development of novel molecules/materials, including organometallics, organics, coordination complexes, liquid crystals, supramolecular assemblies and nanomaterials.  These have potential applications in a vast range of areas such as next generation energy materials (new types of batteries), security (authentication), medicine (drugs and drug delivery) and chemical sensing to name a few.


  • Chemistry of Light and Energy research encompasses multiple aspects of research connected to experimental and theoretical studies involving light and energy transfer.  These include photodynamics of light activated proteins and light harvesting/electronic energy transfer, photochemical dynamics of isolated molecules, theoretical method development, and discovery of new materials with applications in energy capture/conversion from the sun and next generation LEDs.


  • Chemistry of Life Processes research applies state of the art technologies and approaches in areas such as biophysical chemistry, theoretical simulation, protein engineering and genetic programming to provide novel insight into a wide range of biological processes, with particular strengths in the roles of metals in life, nitrogen cycle enzymes, multiheme cytochromes, membrane transporters, protein-protein interactions and unnatural amino acids. Synthetic biology approaches are also used to develop novel applications of biological systems in energy capture/conversion and biocatalysis. Several faculty members with interests in the Chemistry of Life Processes theme are members of the cross-School Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry (CMSB).


An important aspect of chemistry research at UEA is a collaborative spirit that has led to strong interactions not only across the three principal themes, but also with Pharmacy, the other Science Schools, and the Research Institutes on the Norwich Research Park.

All of our research themes welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students, postdocs and fellows.