Prof Rob Field

Project Leader
Biological Chemistry

Rob’s research focuses on carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry.

He develops chemical probes and uses gene manipulation to impact carbohydrate biosynthesis and degradation pathways, thereby generating new products.

Rob’s research spans a broad range of organisms including plants, algae, bacteria and viruses. This work has resulted in a number of applications, from designer carbohydrates for functional food studies to developing diagnostics for infectious diseases.

  • Chemical and enzymatic synthesis
  • Small molecule probes
  • Glycobiology across a broad range of species


Carbohydrates play many and varied roles in biology, contributing as energy sources, structural materials, binding and signalling molecules. In contrast to nucleic acids and proteins, carbohydrates are not template-encoded, which adds enormously to the diversity of carbohydrate structures that may be produced and imparts huge complexity to their analysis and definition of their biological function.

Research in the Field group is focused on developing and exploiting chemical tools and principles to address questions in plant and microbial carbohydrate metabolism. Projects typically involve some combination of chemical and enzymatic synthesis, inhibitor design and assessment, biochemistry, structural biology, metabolomic, proteomic and transcriptomic analysis.

From a biology perspective, the lab work cross-Kingdom: Arabidopsis, barley, Euglena, Streptomyces, E. coli, flu virus, the African and American trypanosome.

Vacancies in the Field lab


Tel: 01603 450720

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Recent Publications

Chaliha C., Rugen M. D., Field R. A., Kalita E. (2018)

Glycans as Modulators of Plant Defense Against Filamentous Pathogens.

Frontiers in plant science 9 p928

Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00928

Craggs P. D., Mouilleron S., Rejzek M., de Chiara C., Young R. J., Field R. A., Argyrou A., de Carvalho L. P. S. (2018)

The Mechanism of Acetyl Transfer Catalyzed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis GlmU.

Biochemistry 57 p3387-3401

Publisher’s version: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00121

Kuhaudomlarp S., Walpole S., Stevenson C. E. M., Nepogodiev S. A., Lawson D. M., Angulo J., Field R. A. (2018)

Unravelling the Specificity of Laminaribiose Phosphorylase from Paenibacillus sp. YM-1 towards Donor Substrates Glucose/Mannose 1-Phosphate by Using X-ray Crystallography and Saturation Transfer Difference NMR Spectroscopy.

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology

Publisher’s version: 10.1002/cbic.201800260

Rugen M. D., Rejzek M., Naested H., Svensson B., Field R. A. (2018)

High-Throughput In Vitro Screening for Inhibitors of Cereal a-Glucosidase.

Publisher’s version: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7874-8_9

Wangpaiboon K., Padungros P., Nakapong S., Charoenwongpaiboon T., Rejzek M., Field R. A., Pichyangkura R. (2018)

An a-1,6-and a-1,3-linked glucan produced by Leuconostoc citreum ABK-1 alternansucrase with nanoparticle and film-forming properties.

Scientific reports 8 p8340

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/s41598-018-26721-w

View All

Rob Field


For media enquiries,  contact the communications and engagement team 01603 450962,

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