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Dr Refaat Hamed

Assistant Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 232371


I have always been fascinated by the way nature morphs simple building blocks to create more complex natural cures. This fascination shaped my career, which started by the isolation, structure elucidation and biological evaluation of various classes of phytochemicals, with the focus being iridoid glycosides (MSc studies). I then moved on to pursue my D.Phil. studies at University of Oxford, where I learned the modern aspects of (b-lactam antibiotics) biosynthesis, molecular biology and enzymology (structural and mechanistic). During my D.Phil. and postdoctoral studies time, I have developed myself into a rational-design protein engineer. Challenging chemical transformations and forcing enzymes, via engineering, to catalyse these reactions, with exquisite regio- and stereoselectivity, for biocatalytic purposes, is one of the main themes of my research. Extending my research from engineering enzymes to redesign of biosynthetic pathways to produce unnatural products of pharmaceutical interest is another objective for my research. As a teacher, I do strive to be well-informed, interactive and inspiring. One of my primary goals of teaching is to prepare both undergraduate and graduate students for a successful career.


Natural products discovery, Biosynthesis of natural products, Biocatalysis, Enzymology, Protein Engineering and Synthetic Biology

Date Role Title / Description Funder Award
01-FEB-19 - 31-JAN-22Maximising Metabolic Efficiency for Cellular Alkyl Methacrylate Production
Maximising Metabolic Efficiency for Cellular Alkyl Methacrylate Production
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council


Teaching interests

Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry

Teaching highlights

NMR Spectroscopy

Carbonyl Chemistry

Stereoselective Synthesis


Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-10: University of Oxford - DPhil Organic Chemistry
  • 01-JAN-04: Assiut University - MSc in Natural Products Chemistry
  • 01-JAN-99: Assiut University - BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences (with highest honors)

  • 01-JUL-16: Assiut University, Egypt - Associate Professor (On leave)
  • 01-JUN-11: Assiut University, Egypt - Assistant Professor
  • 01-APR-04:  Assiut University, Egypt - Assistant lecturer
  • 01-DEC-99:  Assiut University, Egypt - Demonstrator
  • 27-FEB-18: University of Bradford - Lecturer of Chemical Biology
  • 16-JAN-16: University of St Andrews - Research Fellow
  • 30-MAY-13: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - Research Fellow
  • 10-MAR-10: University of Oxford - Research Fellow

  • 01-APR-19: British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Member of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
  • 01-DEC-18: American Chemical Society, Member of American Chemical Society
  • 26-OCT-18: Biochemical Society, Member of Biochemical Society
  • 28-JAN-11: Royal Society of Chemistry, Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

  • 01-JAN-17: Assiut University Encouragement Award

  • 29-APR-10: PCT/GB2009/051435 - Methods for preparing heterocyclic rings


TitleStudies on the selectivity of proline hydroxylases reveal new substrates including bicycles (2019)
AuthorsTristan J. Smart, Refaat B. Hamed, Timothy D.W. Claridge, Christopher J. Schofield
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
TitleBiocatalytic production of bicyclic β-lactams with three contiguous chiral centres using engineered crotonases (2019)
AuthorsHamed, Refaat B.; Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.; Warhaut, H.L.; Claridge, T.D.W.; Schofield, C.J.
JournalCommunications Chemistry
TitleA natural solution to photoprotection and isolation of the potent polyene antibiotic, marinomycin A (2019)
AuthorsChristopher S. Bailey, Joseph S. Zarins-Tutt, Matthias Agbo, Hong Gao, Alberto Diego-Taboada, Maoluo Gan, Refaat B. Hamed, Emily R. Abraham, Grahame Mackenzie, P. Andrew Evans, Rebecca J. M. Goss;
JournalChemical Science
TitleStereoselective production of dimethyl-substituted carbapenams via engineered carbapenem biosynthesis enzymes (2017)
AuthorsHamed, Refaat B.; Henry, L.; Claridge, T.D.W.; Schofield, C.
JournalACS Catalysis
TitleLiving GenoChemetics by hyphenating synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry in vivo (2017)
AuthorsSharma, S.V.; Tong, X.; Pubill-Ulldemolins, C.; Cartmell, C.; Bogosyan, E.J.A.; Rackham, E.J.; Marelli, E.; Hamed, Refaat B.; Goss, R.J.M.
JournalNature Communications
TitleCrotonases: Nature’s exceedingly convertible catalysts (2017)
AuthorsLohans, C.T.; Wang, D.Y.; Wang, J.; Hamed, Refaat B.; Schofield, C.J.
JournalACS Catalysis
TitleUse of Methylmalonyl-CoA Epimerase in Enhancing Crotonase Stereoselectivity (2016)
AuthorsHamed, Refaat B.; Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.; Sean Froese, D.; Krysztofinska, E.; Yue, W.W.; Schofield, C.J.
TitleStereoselective preparation of lipidated carboxymethyl-proline/pipecolic acid derivatives via coupling of engineered crotonases with an alkylmalonyl-CoA synthetase (2013)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Henry, L.;Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.;Asghar, A.;Brem, J.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
TitleThe enzymes of β-lactam biosynthesis (2013)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.;Henry, L.;Ducho, C.;McDonough, M.A.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalNatural Product Reports
TitleCrotonase catalysis enables flexible production of functionalized prolines and carbapenams (2012)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Henry, L.;Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.;Mecinović, J.;Ducho, C.;Sorensen, J.L.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
TitleOxygenase-catalyzed ribosome hydroxylation occurs in prokaryotes and humans (2012)
AuthorsGe, W.;Wolf, A.;Feng, T.;Ho, C.-H.;Sekirnik, R.;Zayer, A.;Granatino, N.;Cockman, M.E.;Loenarz, C.;Loik, N.D.;Hardy, A.P.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Hamed, R.B.;Chowdhury, R.;Gong, L.;Robinson, C.V.;Trudgian, D.C.;Jiang, M.;MacKeen, M.M.;McCullagh, J.S.;Gordiyenko, Y.;Thalhammer, A.;Yamamoto, A.;Yang, M.;Liu-Yi, P.;Zhang, Z.;Schmidt-Zachmann, M.;Kessler, B.M.;Ratcliffe, P.J.;Preston, G.M.;Coleman, M.L.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalNature Chemical Biology
TitleSelf-hydroxylation of the splicing factor lysyl hydroxylase, JMJD6 (2012)
AuthorsMantri, M.;Webby, C.J.;Loik, N.D.;Hamed, R.B.;Nielsen, M.L.;McDonough, M.A.;McCullagh, J.S.O.;Böttger, A.;Schofield, C.J.;Wolf, A.;
TitlePhotoactivable peptides for identifying enzyme-substrate and protein-protein interactions (2011)
AuthorsRotili, D.;Altun, M.;Hamed, R.B.;Loenarz, C.;Thalhammer, A.;Hopkinson, R.J.;Tian, Y.-M.;Ratcliffe, P.J.;Mai, A.;Kessler, B.M.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalChemical Communications
TitleFactor-inhibiting hypoxia-inducible factor (FIH) catalyses the post-translational hydroxylation of histidinyl residues within ankyrin repeat domains (2011)
AuthorsYang, M.;Chowdhury, R.;Ge, W.;Hamed, R.B.;McDonough, M.A.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Kessler, B.M.;Cockman, M.E.;Ratcliffe, P.J.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalFEBS Journal
TitleStereoselective C-C bond formation catalysed by engineered carboxymethylproline synthases (2011)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Gomez-Castellanos, J.R.;Thalhammer, A.;Harding, D.;Ducho, C.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalNature Chemistry
TitleThe 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Oxygenase JMJD6 Catalyses Oxidation of Lysine Residues to give 5S-Hydroxylysine Residues (2011)
AuthorsMantri, M.;Loik, N.D.;Hamed, R.B.;Claridge, T.D.W.;McCullagh, J.S.O.;Schofield, C.J.;
TitleMonitoring the activity of 2-oxoglutarate dependent histone demethylases by NMR spectroscopy: Direct observation of formaldehyde (2010)
AuthorsHopkinson, R.J.;Hamed, R.B.;Rose, N.R.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
TitleCarboxymethylproline synthase catalysed syntheses of functionalised N-heterocycles (2010)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Mecinović, J.;Ducho, C.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalChemical Communications
TitleEvidence for the slow reaction of hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase 2 with oxygen (2010)
AuthorsFlashman, E.;Hoffart, L.M.;Hamed, R.B.;Bollinger Jr., J.M.;Krebs, C.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalFEBS Journal
TitleEvidence that thienamycin biosynthesis proceeds via C-5 epimerization: ThnE catalyzes the formation of (2S,5S)-trans-carboxymethylproline (2009)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Batchelar, E.T.;Mecinović, J.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Schofield, C.J.;
TitleSynthesis of regio- and stereoselectively deuterium-labelled derivatives of l-glutamate semialdehyde for studies on carbapenem biosynthesis (2009)
AuthorsDucho, C.;Hamed, R.B.;Batchelar, E.T.;Sorensen, J.L.;Odell, B.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
TitleIron-mediated cleavage of C-C bonds in vicinal tricarbonyl compounds in water (2009)
AuthorsMecinović, J.;Hamed, R.B.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
TitleMechanisms and structures of crotonase superfamily enzymes - How nature controls enolate and oxyanion reactivity (2008)
AuthorsHamed, R.B.;Batchelar, E.T.;Clifton, I.J.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
TitleThioester hydrolysis and C-C bond formation by carboxymethylproline synthase from the crotonase superfamily (2008)
AuthorsBatchelar, E.T.;Hamed, R.B.;Ducho, C.;Claridge, T.D.W.;Edelmann, M.J.;Kessler, B.;Schofield, C.J.;
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition