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Fellows Directory

Alan Fersht

Alan Fersht

Sir Alan Fersht FMedSci FRS


Elected: 1983


Alan Fersht is an organic chemist who has led pioneering studies into the folding and stability of proteins. By applying a broad range of analytical and engineering techniques, Alan has been able to examine the way in which cancerous mutations affect proteins throughout the lifecycle of their host cells.

Long fascinated by the complex systems involved in structural biology, Alan has been a significant contributor to the study of enzymes, as well as one of the founders of protein engineering. The approaches he developed in this field have led to an improved understanding of protein structure and activity, and inspired new treatments for a number of diseases.

Widely recognised for his contributions across chemistry and biology, Alan is a member of many of the world’s most prestigious scientific societies. Amongst his numerous awards, he holds the Royal Society’s Gabor, Davey and Royal medals, and has been honoured with a knighthood for his work on protein science.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, biological


  • Davy Medal

    In recognition for his pioneering work on the analysis of proteins by combining the methods and ideas of physical-organic chemistry with those of protein engineering thus illuminating such processes as enzymatic catalysis, protein folding, protein-protein interactions and those macromolecule interactions in general that are dominated by the chemistry of the noncovalent bond.

  • Gabor Medal

    In recognition of his pioneering work in the use of protein engineering to study protein structure and enzyme function.

  • Royal Medals

    For his seminal work in protein engineering, which he has developed into a fundamental tool in enzyme analysis and the problem of protein folding.

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