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Dr Glenn Burley


Pure and Applied Chemistry

Personal statement

Glenn A. Burley (GAB) holds a Readership in Chemical Biology at the University of Strathclyde. GAB’s research programme is in nucleic acid chemical biology with specific focus on developing molecular tools to understand processes involved in transcription and RNA processing. GAB was awarded a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Hon. I) and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wollongong, Australia. GAB was a post-doctoral fellow in the Fullerene Science Centre at the University of Sussex (United Kingdom) and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Munich (Germany).  GAB began his independent career as an EPSRC Advanced Fellow in 2007 at the University of Leicester, before moving to Strathclyde in 2011.


Effect of oligomer length on vibrational coupling and energy relaxation in double-stranded DNA
Hithell Gordon, Donaldson Paul M., Greetham Gregory M., Towrie Michael, Parker Anthony W., Burley Glenn, Hunt Neil T.
Chemical Physics, (2017)
Structural basis of DNA duplex distortion induced by thiazole-containing hairpin polyamides
Padroni Giacomo, Parkinson John A., Fox Keith R., Burley Glenn A.
Nucleic Acids Research, (2017)
Specific G-quadruplex ligands modulate the alternative splicing of Bcl-X
Weldon Carika , Dacanay Justine G., Gokhale Vijay, Boddupally Peda Venkat L., Behm-Ansmant Isabelle, Burley Glenn A., Branlant Christiane , Hurley Laurence H., Dominguez Cyril, Eperon Ian C.
Nucleic Acids Research, (2017)
Correction to "Modular, step-efficient palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling strategy to access C6-heteroaryl 2-aminopurine ribonucleosides"
Buchanan Helena S., Pauff Steven M., Kosmidis Tilemachos D., Taladriz-Sender Andrea, Rutherford Olivia I., Hatit Marine Z. C., Fenner Sabine, Watson Allan J. B., Burley Glenn A.
Organic Letters Vol 19, (2017)
Modular, step-efficient palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling strategy to access C6-heteroaryl 2-aminopurine ribonucleosides
Buchanan Helena S., Pauff Steven M., Kosmidis Tilemachos D., Taladriz-Sender Andrea, Rutherford Olivia I., Hatit Marine Z. C., Fenner Sabine, Watson Allan J. B., Burley Glenn A.
Organic Letters Vol 19, pp. 3759-3762, (2017)
A strategy for conditional orthogonal sequential CuAAC reactions using a protected aromatic ynamine
Hatit Marine Z. C., Seath Ciaran P., Watson Allan J. B., Burley Glenn A.
Journal of Organic Chemistry, (2017)

more publications

Research interests

The Burley group applies a problem-based ethos that utilizes synthetic organic chemistry, biosynthesis and physical organic chemistry to explore regulatory mechanisms of transcription and RNA processing. In collaboration with bio-engineers, the group is constructing a new generation of nucleic acid-programmed nano-assemblies for diagnostic and light-harvesting applications.  

Three nodes of research are currently being pursued:

  1. Chemical Biology of alternative RNA splicing (in collaboration with Prof. Ian Eperon & Dr Cyril Dominguez, University of Leicester) – Alternative RNA splicing is a major contributor to protein diversity and genetic regulation operating in eukaryotic cells, yet the mechanisms by which it is regulated are poorly understood. This research programme is aimed at unravelling fundamental issues associated with splice site selection using small molecule and large molecule (oligonucleotides and protein hybrids) probes. These methods are being applied to further our understanding in diseases such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Prostate Cancer.
  2. DNA-based construction of molecular devices (in collaboration with Prof. Richard Cogdell FRS & Dr Alasdair Clark, University of Glasgow) - We are currently developing self-assembly approaches for the construction of DNA-programmed optoelectronic and light-harvesting devices. DNA-binding molecules are being developed that read the genetic code of DNA and direct the assembly of noble metal nanoparticles and light-harvesting proteins in defined positions along a DNA nanostructure. We are now applying this technology to build DNA-programmed light-harvesting devices and plasmonic waveguides for molecular electronics and medical diagnostic applications.
  3. Synthetic Organic Chemistry (in collaboration with Dr Allan Watson, University of Strathclyde) - New bioconjugation methodology is being developed using ynamines as a new generation of click chemistry reagents. These functional groups display unique reactivity relative to their alkyne cognates enabling the efficient and chemoselective construction of bioconjugates and as target identificaiton and validation tools in chemical biology.

See for further details.


Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2017 | Bell, George Edward
Watson, Allan (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 01-Oct-2021
Industrial Case Account 2016 | Robertson, Jack
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Robertson, Jack (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Oct-2020
Establishing an integrated biocatalytic Friedel-Crafts platform for the alkylation of aromatic small molecules | McKean, Iain
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator) McKean, Iain (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2015 - 01-Oct-2019
Industrial Case Account 2014 | Buchanan, Helena Stubbe
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Jamieson, Craig (Co-investigator) Buchanan, Helena Stubbe (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2015 - 01-Jan-2019
A new drug discovery pipeline for animal African trypanosomiasis / R150401-2
Suckling, Colin (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2016 - 31-Mar-2019
An EPSRC Life Sciences Interface Doctoral Training Centre for Medical Devices | Haughey, Anne-Marie
Dawson, Martin (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator) Haughey, Anne-Marie (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2010 - 23-Dec-2014

more projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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