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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 Dr Bernardes discuss his research

Take a tour of the Bernardes Lab


The Impact of Activity‐Based Protein Profiling in Malaria Drug Discovery
LAR Carvalho, GJL Bernardes
– ChemMedChem
Structural insights into TRPV2 activation by small molecules
RA Pumroy, AD Protopopova, TC Fricke, IU Lange, FM Haug, PT Nguyen, PN Gallo, BB Sousa, G Lopes Bernardes, V Yarov-Yarovoy, A Leffler, VY Moiseenkova-Bell
– Nature Communications
Structural insights into TRPV2 activation by small molecules.
G Lopes Bernardes, R pumroy, A Protopopova, T Fricke, I Lange, F Haug, P Nguyen, P gallo, B sousa, V yarov-yarovoy, A leffler, V moiseenkova-bell
– Nature communications
Ibrutinib Inhibits BMX-Dependent Endothelial VCAM-1 Expression In Vitro and Pro-Atherosclerotic Endothelial Activation and Platelet Adhesion In Vivo.
TCL Kohs, SR Olson, J Pang, KR Jordan, TJ Zheng, A Xie, J Hodovan, M Muller, C McArthur, J Johnson, BB Sousa, M Wallisch, P Kievit, JE Aslan, JD Seixas, GJL Bernardes, MT Hinds, JR Lindner, OJT McCarty, C Puy, JJ Shatzel
– Cellular and molecular bioengineering
Single Mutation on Trastuzumab Modulates the Stability of Antibody-Drug Conjugates Built Using Acetal-Based Linkers and Thiol-Maleimide Chemistry.
X Ferhati, E Jiménez-Moreno, EA Hoyt, G Salluce, M Cabeza-Cabrerizo, CD Navo, I Compañón, P Akkapeddi, MJ Matos, N Salaverri, P Garrido, A Martínez, V Laserna, TV Murray, G Jiménez-Osés, P Ravn, GJL Bernardes, F Corzana
– J Am Chem Soc
Retaining the structural integrity of disulfide bonds in diphtheria toxoid carrier protein is crucial for the effectiveness of glycoconjugate vaccine candidates.
F Carboni, A Kitowski, C Sorieul, D Veggi, MC Marques, D Oldrini, E Balducci, B Brogioni, L Del Bino, A Corrado, F Angiolini, L Dello Iacono, I Margarit, MR Romano, GJL Bernardes, R Adamo
– Chemical Science
Retaining the structural integrity of disulfide bonds in diphtheria toxoid carrier protein is crucial for effectiveness of glycoconjugate vaccine candidates
G Lopes Bernardes, F carboni, A kitowski, C Sorieul, D Veggi, M Marques, D Oldrini, E Balducci, B Brogioni, L Del Bino, A Corrado, F Angiolini, L Dello Iacono, I Margarit, M Romano, R Adamo
– Chemical Science
Transition metal mediated bioorthogonal release
V Sabatino, VB Unnikrishnan, GJL Bernardes
– Chem Catalysis
Controlled In‐Cell Generation of Active Palladium(0) Species for Bioorthogonal Decaging
J Konč, V Sabatino, E Jiménez‐Moreno, E Latocheski, LR Pérez, J Day, JB Domingos, GJL Bernardes
– Angewandte Chemie
A structural ensemble of a tau-microtubule complex reveals regulatory tau phosphorylation and acetylation mechanisms
F Brotzakis, P Lindstedt, R Taylor, G Bernardes, M Vendruscolo
– ACS Central Science
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336305

Email address


Trinity Hall