Sarah Barry
  • Phone020 7848 1760
  • 854

Personal profile

Research interests

The biosynthesis of natural products continues to be a vitally important area of research in the search for new antibiotics, anticancer and antimalarial agents and other biologically active compounds. About 80% of clinically used compounds are natural product derived. The biochemical catalysts which orchestrate the creation of these complex compounds are of immense interest as they often carry out reactions which we cannot replicate synthetically with equivalent specificity and efficiency.

While the increase in available sequence data in recent years allows us to search for biosynthetic potential in the genomes of thousands of microbes, the challenge ahead lies in finding ways to unlock and exploit this potential.

We take a multidisciplinary approach using synthetic organic chemistry, molecular microbiology and biochemistry as well as a range of analytical and spectroscopic methods to study:






Biographical details

Sarah Barry received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from University College Dublin (UCD). She carried out her undergraduate research under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Guiry, towards the synthesis of new ruthenium and iridium based transfer hydrogenation catalysts for use in asymmetric organic synthesis. She stayed in UCD to carry out a PhD in chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Peter Rutledge in which she worked towards the synthesis and development of novel iron complexes to mimic the action of the non-heme iron dependent enzymes, Rieske dioxygenases. She spent the final year of her PhD studies at the University of Sydney.

As a PhD student she visited the lab of Prof. Greg Challis at the University of Warwick to develop skills in molecular microbiology. During this time she developed an interest in natural product biosynthesis and she joined the Challis group as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2007, to work on the enzymology of natural product biosynthesis focusing on novel enzymes in the thaxtomin biosynthetic pathway in Streptomyces scabies. She joined the Department of Chemistry at King’s College London as a Lecturer in Chemical Biology in July 2012.


  • QD Chemistry
  • Natural Products
  • Biosynthesis
  • Chemical Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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