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Centre for Misfolding Diseases

Gonçalo Bernardes is a Professor of Chemical Biology & a Fellow of Trinity Hall College, Cambridge.

What we do

Nature has its own machinery for modifying the structure of proteins. In our research, we’re attempting to mimic this machinery to gain significant therapeutic benefits. We’re engineering chemical reactions that enable us to modify proteins while allowing to choose the precise location in the protein’s structure where we want to install these modifications.

This work has a whole range of applications. For example, we’re currently developing ways of selectively labelling proteins in living cells: this can help us monitor the proteins associated with particular diseases without interfering either with the protein’s structure, function, activity and location or upsetting the cell’s normal functions. Another important potential application for this work is linking cytotoxic drug molecules (molecules that are poisonous to cells) to antibodies and then using the antibody to deliver the drug in a very targeted way to the diseased tissue. This could improve the effectiveness of cancer treatments and reduce their side effects.

These are two examples from among our lines of research that use site-selective and bioorthogonal chemistry to address challenges in biology and medicine. We hope our methods may in future be used in laboratories around the world to help develop new drugs with improved effectiveness and reduced side-effects for some of the most common diseases such as cancer.


We are funded by the Royal Society, by UKRI (EPSRC) and by the European Commission (Marie Sklodowska Curie actions & European Research Council)

For further information on our research and for opportunities, please check our research group website.

Watch Professor Bernardes discuss his research

Take a tour of the Bernardes Lab


Targeted protein editing with an antibody-based system
M Vendruscolo, O Rimon, J Konc, M Ali, VR Chowdhury, P Sormanni, G Bernardes
Cathepsin B Processing Is Required for the In Vivo Efficacy of Albumin-Drug Conjugates.
B Bernardim, J Conde, T Hakala, JB Becher, M Canzano, AV Vasco, TPJ Knowles, J Cameron, GJL Bernardes
– Bioconjugate chemistry
Design and Evaluation of PROTACs Targeting Acyl Protein Thioesterase 1.
G Lopes Bernardes
– Chembiochem
Machine Learning Uncovers Natural Product Modulators of the 5‑Lipoxygenase Pathway and Facilitates the Elucidation of Their Biological Mechanisms
S Mikutis, S Lawrinowitz, C Kretzer, L Dunsmore, L Sketeris, T Rodrigues, O Werz, GJL Bernardes
– ACS Chemical Biology
Structure-Guided Approach for the Development of MUC1-Glycopeptide-Based Cancer Vaccines with Predictable Responses
IA Bermejo, A Guerreiro, A Eguskiza, N Martínez-Sáez, FS Lazaris, A Asín, VJ Somovilla, I Compañón, TK Raju, S Tadic, P Garrido, J García-Sanmartín, V Mangini, AS Grosso, F Marcelo, A Avenoza, JH Busto, F García-Martín, R Hurtado-Guerrero, JM Peregrina, GJL Bernardes, A Martínez, R Fiammengo, F Corzana
Multiplexed Digital Characterization of Misfolded Protein Oligomers via Solid-State Nanopores.
SE Sandler, RI Horne, S Rocchetti, R Novak, N-S Hsu, M Castellana Cruz, Z Faidon Brotzakis, RC Gregory, S Chia, GJL Bernardes, UF Keyser, M Vendruscolo
– J Am Chem Soc
Merging the Isonitrile-Tetrazine (4+1) Cycloaddition and the Ugi Four-Component Reaction into a Single Multicomponent Process
Y Méndez, AV Vasco, G Ivey, AL Dias, P Gierth, BB Sousa, CD Navo, A Torres-Mozas, T Rodrigues, G Jiménez-Osés, GJL Bernardes
– Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Merging the Isonitrile‐Tetrazine (4+1) Cycloaddition and the Ugi Four‐Component Reaction into a Single Multicomponent Process
Y Méndez, AV Vasco, G Ivey, AL Dias, P Gierth, BB Sousa, CD Navo, A Torres‐Mozas, T Rodrigues, G Jiménez‐Osés, GJL Bernardes
– Angewandte Chemie
Designed Endocytosis-Triggering Proteins mediate Targeted Degradation
B Huang, M Abedi, G Ahn, B Coventry, I Sappington, R Wang, T Schlichthaerle, JZ Zhang, Y Wang, I Goreshnik, CW Chiu, A Chazin-Gray, S Chan, S Gerben, A Murray, S Wang, J O'Neill, R Yeh, A Misquith, A Wolf, LM Tomasovic, DI Piraner, MJD Gonzalez, NR Bennett, P Venkatesh, D Satoe, M Ahlrichs, C Dobbins, W Yang, X Wang, D Vafeados, R Mout, S Shivaei, L Cao, L Carter, L Stewart, JB Spangler, GJL Bernardes, KT Roybal, P Greisen, X Li, C Bertozzi, D Baker
– bioRxiv
Multiplexed Digital Characterisation of Misfolded Protein Oligomers via Solid-State Nanopores
S Sandler, R Horne, S Rocchetti, R Novak, N-S Hsu, MC Cruz, F Brotzakis, R Gregory, S Chia, G Bernardes, U Keyser, M Vendruscolo
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Group Leader

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336305

Email address


Trinity Hall