Professor Simon Newstead

Tutor in Biochemistry & Professor of Molecular Membrane Biology, Department of Biochemistry


MBiochem (Hons.) Bath. PhD. St Andrews

Academic Background

2016 – Present.   Professor Molecular Membrane Biology

2013 - 2016 - University of Oxford - Associate Professor & Tutor in Biochemistry, Christ Church.

2009-2013 - University of Oxford - MRC Career Development Award Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.

2004-2009 - Imperial College London - Post-Doctoral research in Membrane Transport Proteins

2001- 2004 - University of St Andrews -  PhD Protein Crystallography

1997- 2001 - University of Bath - M.Biochem (Hons.)

Undergraduate Teaching

Protein structure and function; Protein Crystallography; Molecular Biophysics; Enzyme Kinetics; Membrane Transport Option; Molecular Graphics

Research Interests

The design of drugs for oral administration is common practice in the pharmaceutical industry due to ease of patient administration, storage, distribution and patient compliance. Many drugs however are poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the main route by which orally administered drugs enter the blood stream. One successful approach to overcome this obstacle has been the design of prodrugs, which are modified drug compounds that target nutrient transporters in the GI tract. My research focuses on understanding the detailed mechanism through which drug molecules interact with peptide transporters in the small intestine and kidneys.  Peptide transporters are some of most promising targets for improving drug availability as they are highly expressed in the GI tract and are already responsible for the uptake of antibiotics such as penicillin.  The goal of our research is to gain an understanding, at the molecular level, of the underlying mechanism by which these peptide transporters function. Such information will enable a more rational extension of the initial prodrug approach with benefits for both patients and the pharmaceutical industry alike.  I would be happy to discuss my research further with any alumni who are interested.

Publications include:

Byrne EF, Sircar R, Miller PS, Hedger G, Luchetti G, Nachtergaele S, Tully MD, Mydock-McGrane L, Covey DF, Rambo RP, Sansom MS, Newstead S, Rohatgi R, Siebold, C. (2016) Structural basis of Smoothened regulation by its extracellular domains. Nature, 535, 517-22.
Stockbridge RB, Kolmakova-Partensky L, Shane T, Koide A, Koide S, Miller C, Newstead S.  (2015) Crystal structures of a double-barrelled fluoride ion channel. Nature 525, 548-51.
Parker JL & Newstead S. (2014). Molecular basis for nitrate uptake by the plant nitrate transporter NRT1.1. Nature. 507, 68-72.


Walking in the lake district; Skiing; Research.