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Fellows Directory

David Lilley

David Lilley

Professor David Lilley FRS


Elected: 2002


David Lilley is a biochemist and world expert in the structure and folding of nucleic acids, including specialised branched structures of DNA. David’s work has provided key information on the enzymes that attach to DNA, as well as the structure of the molecule itself. His findings are improving our understanding of DNA and enabling the discovery of new drug targets, amongst other applications.

He has developed powerful methods for studying nucleic acids, including fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), which allows measurement of the distance between two regions of interest on a large biological molecule. He produced the first nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure of DNA in addition to producing a high-resolution crystal structure of the molecule.

David has written several key texts in his field and is the author of 350 papers. He has received a number of awards, including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s RNA and Ribozyme Chemistry Award in 2001.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biophysics and structural biology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Genetics (excluding population genetics)
  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, biological
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