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Refaat Hamed

Lecturer of Chemical Biology

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
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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.


Teaching highlights

NMR Spectroscopy
Carbonyl Chemistry
Stereoselective Synthesis

Teaching interests

Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry


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

Professional activities

  • 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-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-JAN-17: - Assiut University Encouragement Award
  • 01-APR-19: Member of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
  • 01-DEC-18: Member of American Chemical Society
  • 26-OCT-18: Member of Biochemical Society
  • 28-JAN-11: Member of Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 29-APR-10: PCT/GB2009/051435 - Methods for preparing heterocyclic rings


Peer Reviewed Journal
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
TitleBiocatalytic production of bicyclic B-lactams with three contiguous chiral centres using engineered crotonases (2019)
AuthorsRefaat B. Hamed;J. Ruben Gomez-Castellanos;Luc Henry;Sven Warhaut;Timothy D. W. Claridge;Christopher J. Schofield;
JournalCommunications Chemistry
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.
TitleCrotonases: Nature's Exceedingly Convertible Catalysts (2017)
AuthorsChristopher T. Lohans;David Y. Wang;Jimmy Wang;Refaat B. Hamed;Christopher J. Schofield;
JournalACS Catalysis
TitleStereoselective Production of Dimethyl-Substituted Carbapenams via Engineered Carbapenem Biosynthesis Enzymes (2017)
AuthorsRefaat B. Hamed;Luc Henry;Timothy D. W. Claridge;Christopher J. Schofield;
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 Production of Dimethyl-Substituted Carbapenams via Engineered Carbapenem Biosynthesis Enzymes (2016)
AuthorsRefaat Bakr Hamed;Luc Henry;Timothy D. W. Claridge;Christopher J. Schofield;
JournalACS Catalysis
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
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
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.;
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
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
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
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
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.;
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
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.;
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
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
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.;
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
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