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Research Fellows Directory

David Haddleton

Professor David Haddleton

Research Fellow


University of Warwick

Research summary

My work is in the development of new and efficient ways to make polymers which

add value and benefit to society and commerce. My development of new polymers

is directed towards solving problems ranging from new therapeutics to personal

care and oil recovery. The ability to design a large polymer with well-defined

structure helps us to make very useful

molecules and materials that solve problems without necessarily presenting

themselves – stealth materials. In order to achieve this we develop new ways of

putting monomers together and we try and understand these processes in order to

make them even better, efficient and cost effective. The polymers we make are

used in many everyday applications such as oil additives in our cars, in our

shampoo, skin creams and laundry products. Our work with companies that

supply these markets help us to use our living radical polymerisation to solve

problems and address the challenges we face.

I am exploring how to use this chemistry to make synthetic Glycopolymers (sugar

containing polymers) and to modify proteins and peptides. This work is to allow

better use of protein and peptide drugs and to help patients use them more

effectively. This is directed towards well known peptides such as insulin

(diabetes), oxytocin (for use in child labour), polymyxcin (activity against super

bugs) and calcitonin (oesteoporosis). Perhaps my most exciting work is in

producing polymers that competitively bind with cells that help prevent HIV

infection. In this way our polymers prevent the infection by tying up the carrier

cells and hinder movement of viruses around the body and subsequent infection.

We are hoping to extend these studies to more prevalent viruses such as


Polymers are all around us and enhance our lives – my work is to improve our

knowledge and increase the usefulness of these materials and address present

and future problems.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Controlled polymerisation to new materials: Polymer therapeutics to oil recovery

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Apr 2011 - Mar 2016

Value: £75,000

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