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J Barber MA PhD(Cambridge) MA DPhil(Oxford) CChem MRSC
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2369
FAX: +44 (0)161 275 2396



The molecular basis of drug action and the design of novel drugs.
In particular I am interested in the antibacterial and antiparasitic action of polyketide inhibitors of protein biosynthesis.  Current projects include:

  • an investigation of the effect of deuteriation on therapeutic proteins
  • the design and synthesis of some novel, pallatable erythromycin derivatives
  • an NMR investigation of the structure of ribosomal proteins

Techniques used include:

NMR spectroscopy
Synthetic organic chemistry
Isotopic labelling
Protein engineering and expression
Protein chemistry
Molecular modelling
In collaboration with groups at UMIST and Daresbury my group is involved with electrospray mass spectrometry and circular dichroism spectroscopy

Research in Education: The development of a standard entry test for pharmacy students to monitor changes in school curricula and their effects on the preparation of students for undergraduate study.


Antibiotic action
Basic biochemistry


Elected member of Senate
Member of Faculty Review Committee
Secretary of School Biological Safety Sub-Committee
Member of Curriculum Committee
Senior Internal Examiner for Medicinal Chemistry
Supervisor for Departmental NMR Facility


B.A. (Hons) Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 1977
M.A. 1981
Ph.D. Bio-organic Chemistry, University of Cambridge, 1980
M.A., D.Phil., University of Oxford (by incorporation), 1984
M.R.S.C., C.Chem. 1986

Society Membership

Royal Society of Chemistry
Biochemical Society
Academic Pharmacy Group of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Brief Career Details

Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy, 1993 - present
Lecturer, 1986 - 93
Demonstrator, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 1983 - 5.
Post-doctoral research associate, Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Heidelberg, 1982 - 83
Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe, 1980 - 82

Recent Publications

Conformational Analysis of the Erythromycin Analogues Azithromycin and Clarithromycin in Aqueous Solution and Bound to Bacterial Ribosomes
A. Awan, R.J. Brennan, A.C. Regan and J. Barber
J. Soc. Chem. Commun. (1995), 1653-1654

Conformational Analysis
J. Barber and B. Wood
Chapter 11 in "Specialist Periodical Reports, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance" vol. 24, Ed. G.A. Webb, Royal Society of Chemistry, 362-397

The Antimalarial Activity of Berberine and Some Synthetic Analogues
N. Silikas, D.L.C. McCall, D. Sharples, W.M. Watkins, R.D. Waigh and J. Barber
Pharm. Sci. (1996), 2, 55-58

The X-ray Crystal Structures of Perdeuteriated and Protiated Elongation Factor Tu are very similar.
S.J.Cooper, D.Brockwell, J.Rafferty, D.Attwood, J.Barber and J.Barber and J.R.Helliwell. J.Chem.Soc.Chem.Commun. (1998) 1063-1064

Solution Structure and Assignments of the 1H and 13C NMR Spectra of Erythromycin C in Organic and Aqeous Solution. P.Tyson, H Barjat, W.Mann and J.Barber. J.Chem.Res. in the press

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