Enzymes catalyse virtually all chemical reactions in living organisms, making their rates compatible with life. These proteins have evolved to utilize a range of strategies to achieve incredible rate enhancements in comparison with the corresponding non-catalysed reactions. The study of enzymatic mechanisms is fundamental to elucidate how enzymes work in physical and chemical terms, to guide the rational design of inhibitors, and to help engineer new activities.

In the da Silva Lab, we apply techniques of biochemistry and physical chemistry to unravel the mechanisms of enzymatic reactions involved in bacterial histidine and 5-aminolevulinic acid biosynthesis and in human protein histidine phosphorylation. Particular attention is given to transition-state structure, inhibitor design, and fast protein dynamics.

We are part of the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex , the School of Biology, and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis at the University of St Andrews, in the quaint Scottish town of St Andrews. Our lab is located on the third floor of the Biomolecular Sciences Building, overlooking the North Sea.

View from the lab

Dr Rafael G da Silva
Biomedical Sciences Research Complex
School of Biology – Faculty of Science
University of St Andrews
North Haugh, BMS B103
Fife KY16 9ST, UK
Tel: 01334 463496