Professor Glenn Burley

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Personal statement

Glenn A. Burley (GAB) is Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Strathclyde. The main focus of GAB’s research programme is the development of molecular probes to further our understanding of processes involved in gene expression. 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 (2001-2003) and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Munich (2004-2006).  GAB began his independent career as an EPSRC Advanced Fellow in 2007 at the University of Leicester, before moving to Strathclyde in 2011.


Direct, late-stage mono-N-arylation of pentamidine : method development, mechanistic insights, and expedient access to novel antiparastitics against diamidine-resistant parasites
Robertson Jack, Ungogo Marzuq A, Aldfer Mustafa M, Lemgruber Leandro, McWhinnie Fergus S, Bode Bela E, Jones Katherine L, Watson Allan J B, de Koning Harry P, Burley Glenn A
ChemMedChem (2021)
A phenotypic approach for the identification of new molecules for targeted protein degradation applications
Stacey Peter, Lithgow Hannah, Lewell Xiao, Konopacka Agnieszka, Besley Stephen, Green Georgina, Whatling Ryan, Law Robert, Röth Sascha, Sapkota Gopal P, Smith Ian E D, Burley Glenn A, Harling John, Benowitz Andrew B, Queisser Markus A, Muelbaier Marcel
SLAS DISCOVERY: Advancing the Science of Drug Discovery Vol 26, pp. 885-895 (2021)
Contra-thermodynamic E → Z isomerization of cinnamamides via selective energy transfer catalysis
Becker Marc R, Morack Tobias, Robertson Jack, Metternich Jan B, Mück-Lichtenfeld Christian, Daniliuc Constantin, Burley Glenn A, Gilmour Ryan
Tetrahedron Vol 76 (2020)
Glasgow Early Treatment Arm Favirpiravir (GETAFIX) for adults with early stage COVID-19 : a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Hanna Catherine R, Blyth Kevin G, Burley Glenn, Carmichael Samantha, Evans Carol, Hinsley Samantha, Khadra Ibrahim, Khoo Saye, Lewsley Liz-Anne, Jones Robert R, Sharma Raman, Taladriz-Sender Andrea, Thomson Emma C, Scott Janet T
Trials Vol 21 (2020)
Biocatalytic alkylation cascades: recent advances and future opportunities for late-stage functionalization
McKean Iain J W, Hoskisson Paul A, Burley Glenn A
Chembiochem Vol 21, pp. 2890-2897 (2020)
Two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy : an emerging analytical tool?
Fritzsch Robby, Hume Samantha, Minnes Lucy, Baker Matthew J, Burley Glenn A, Hunt Neil T
Analyst Vol 145, pp. 2014-2024 (2020)

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, 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 St. Andrews) - 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.

Professional activities

External Examiner - PhD
External Examiner - PhD
RSC BMCS and RSC NAG 2nd Nucleosides and Nucleotides: synthetic and biological chemistry
Catalysts Webinar | Methyltransferases, Understanding and Application
EXternal Examiner
Invited Lecture

More professional activities


Fluorous-based diagnostic platform for multiplexed diagnosis and differentiation of viral infections
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Corrigan, Damion (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
A Unified Approach to Bio-orthogonal Reaction Discovery in Living systems
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Tyson-Hirst, Izaak
Beveridge, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Beveridge, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator) Tyson-Hirst, Izaak (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | Tyson-Hirst, Izaak
Beveridge, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Beveridge, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Burley, Glenn (Co-investigator) Tyson-Hirst, Izaak (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2024
GlasBioPhys: An integrated facility for the analysis of biomolecular interactions (19ALERT Mid-range equipment initiative)
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Chamberlain, Luke (Co-investigator) Faulds, Karen (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator)
11-Jan-2020 - 09-Jan-2021
Next-generation bio-orthogonal reaction platform for RNA tagging and imaging
Burley, Glenn (Principal Investigator) Young, Louise (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022

More projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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