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Professor Mark Szczelkun


Mark has always had a soft spot for DNA. He studied Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool, followed by training in enzymology with Bernard Connolly (Southampton) and Steve Halford FRS (Bristol), elucidating the roles of short- and long-range DNA interactions by restriction enzymes. Supported by the award of a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship, he established his research group in Bristol in 1998. He was amongst the first in the UK to propose applying a combination of single-molecule and ensemble biochemical techniques to the study of genome rearrangements. Following on from the award of a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in 2002 to continue his work on DNA helicases in bacterial immunity, he took up his academic post in 2007.

Mark has established an international reputation for the study of DNA-protein interactions using biophysical methods, in particular the mechanism of DNA motors, restriction enzymes and CRISPR-Cas. Work within his group is interdisciplinary and has been driven by a number of successful collaborations with physicists, in particular with Ralf Seidel (Leipzig). Mark's successful application of biophysical techniques was recognised in 2004 with the award of the British Biophysical Society Young Investigator Award. His current work is funded by the BBSRC, and the European Research Council. The group is located in the DNA-Protein Interactions Unit, whcih includes other labs interested in genome biology, including: Chambers, Dillingham and Savery. 

  • School Research Director (2018 - present)
  • Professor of Biochemistry, University of Bristol (2010 - present)
  • Reader, University of Bristol (2007-2010)
  • Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol (2003-2007)
  • Research Fellow, University of Bristol (1998-2003)
  • Research Associate, University of Bristol (1994-1998)
  • Research Assistant University of Southampton (1990-1993)
  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry with Professor Bernard A. Connolly, University of Southampton (1990-1993) 
  • B.Sc. in Biochemistry (upper second class), University of Liverpool (1987-1990) 



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