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Dr PAul Tyler

Biochemist, PSTT Fellow

Paul completed a degree in Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and then moved to work for a small pharmaceutical company in Hertford, purifying and studying Paclitaxel from yew trees to use as a cancer treatment.

He then moved back to Leicester to join PanTherix, a startup biotech company pioneering structure-based antibiotic design. Paul specialized in enzyme purification and classification, crystallisation and structure determination.

Structure-based drug design is an attempt to move away from the scatter-gun approach of finding new antibiotics that big pharmaceutical companies have traditionally used. Enzyme targets are identified that are only found in bacteria, not humans. They are cloned and over expressed in E.coli . From there the target enzyme is purified and slowly crystallised. X-rays are used to determine the 3D structure of the enzyme. It is then possible to study how the enzyme binds to its substrates and find drug candidates that could mimic the substrate and stop the enzyme working, killing the bacteria.

During his time with PanTherix the company relocated to Glasgow and Paul continued to work on potential antibiotics with a variety of bacterial enzyme targets. Paul also became fascinated with Prions and was able to assist with some research into their structure with a group at the University of Glasgow. Paul completed his PhD shortly before PanTherix were bought out by AstraZeneca. Settled in Glasgow he changed career and spent 3 years working for Scottish Rugby before completing his PGDE in Primary Education.

Paul has been teaching for 11 years and leading science in his school for 7 years. He is part of a Local Authority science group helping promote and improve science across 26 primary schools. He is an active member of the ASE and a member of the BIG STEM Communicators Network; Paul regularly writes for TES and ASE publications and speaks at STEM conferences across the UK. He has written resources for the PSTT and consulted on several STEM projects worldwide.


  • Primary Science