School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Professor Geoff Kneale

Professor Geoff Kneale

  • Qualifications: BSc, PhD
  • Role Title: Professor of Biomolecular Science
  • Address: School of Biological Sciences, King Henry Building, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth. PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2678
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated in 1972 with a BSc in Biophysics from the University of Leeds, where I subsequently did a PhD in X-ray crystallography (1972-1975). I took up my first post-doctoral post in the Biophysics Laboratories at Portsmouth (1975-1979) working on the structure of chromatin, principally using the technique of neutron scattering at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble.

This was followed by post-doctoral positions at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg (1979-1983), where I carried out studies of DNA–protein complexes using a wide range of biochemical and biophysical techniques. I subsequently moved to the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge (1983-1985) where I carried out pioneering research on the structure of specific DNA sequences, using the technique of X-ray crystallography.

In 1985, I returned to Portsmouth as a Senior Lecturer (and subsequently Reader) in Biophysics. I was appointed to a Chair in Biomolecular Science in 1994. I was a founder member of the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences (IBBS) and was Director from 1999-2011. I was Associate Dean (Research) in the Science Faculty from 1999-2009.

My research interests continue to be in the application of biochemical, biophysical and molecular biological techniques to the study of protein-nucleic acid interacrtions. The major techniques employed include DNA footprinting, EMSA, fluorescence and CD spectroscopy, analytical centrifugation, light scattering, X-ray crystallography, neutron scattering and surface plasmon resonance.

For more information about my research please visit my lab page

Research Interests

  • Structure and mechanism of C-proteins that regulate the expression of R-M genes.
  • DNA structure and gene regulation.
  • The single stranded DNA binding protein (g5p) of Fd bacteriophage, its interaction with novel G-quartet containing nucleic acid structures and its role in prion capture.
  • Structural analysis of Type I DNA methyltranferases and restriction endonucleases.
  • Biophysical Methods.


View all publications on Parade…


A total of £5.6m of external research funding has been awarded to date, most recently:

  • BBSRC: £445,031 awarded for "DNA Distortion, Sequence Recognition and the Control of R-M Gene Expression". PI, with 1 co-applicant ( Dr J McGeehan). 2010-2013.
  • Wellcome Trust: £200,000. Structural biology of type I restriction-modification enzymes (2006-2010).
  • BBSRC £485,000. Structural analysis of the genetic switch controlling expression of the AhdI restriction-modification system (2006-2010).
  • Wellcome Trust: £157,000. Structure and function of the methyltransferase M.AhdI. (2003-2006) G.G. Kneale (PI).
  • EPSRC:  £800,000. (Renewal) Deuteration Initiative for Biological Neutron Scattering and NMR (co-applicant, with 6 other Universities) 2006-2009
  • Wellcome Trust: £157,000. Structure and function of the methyltransferase M.AhdI. (2003-2006) G.G. Kneale (PI).
  • BBSRC:  £200,000. The structural basis of gene regulation in a novel restriction-modification system. 2003-2006.
  • EPSRC:  £780,000. Deuteration Initiative for Biological Neutron Scattering and NMR (co-applicant, with 6 other Universities) 2002-2005.


External Collaborators:

Dr David Dryden, Edinburgh University

Prof. John Trinnick, Leeds University

Dr Ian Taylor, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill, London

Prof Keith Caldecote, Sussex University

Prof J Buzniki, University of Warsaw

Prof K Severinov, Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, NJ, USA

Dr Wen-Quan Zou, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ohio, USA

Internal Collaborators:

Dr J McGeehan

Dr G. Scarlett

Postgraduate Research Supervised


Mr Richard Martin: PhD, current (co-supervisor)

Mr Jon Chamberlain: PhD, current (co-supervisor)

Miss Rebecca Fewings: MRes, current (co-supervisor)

Former (since 2000):

Dr Neil Ball: PhD, awarded 2011 (DoS)

Dr Emily Newman: PhD, awarded 2011 (co-supervisor)

Dr Ioanna Papapanagiotou:  PhD, awarded 2006 (DoS)

Dr Ioannis Manolaridis: PhD, awarded 2005 (DoS)

Dr James Taylor: PhD, awarded 2005 (DoS)

Dr Christine Friedeberg: PhD, awarded 2004 (DoS)

Dr Simon Streeter: PhD, awarded 2004 (DoS)

Dr Xenia Provatopoulou: PhD, awarded 2003  (DoS)

Dr Phil Marks: PhD, awarded 2002 (DoS)

Dr Alan Chant  PhD, awarded 2001  (DoS) 

Dr Melanie Smith  PhD, awarded 2000  (DoS)  

Achievement and Recognition

1990: Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow,

External Examining (Undergraduate and MSc)

  • Medical Sciences Tripos, Cambridge University, (2010-2013)
  • BSc Biochemistry, Liverpool University (2006-2009)
  • BSc Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Oxford University
  • BSc Biological Chemistry at Leicester University.
  • MSc Molecular Biotechnology at University of Leicester
  • MSc Molecular Biotechnology at University of Nottingham

External Examining (PhD vivas)

Universities of Exeter, Cambridge, Sheffield, Dundee, East Anglia, Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol, Oxford, Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, York


Member of the British Biophysical Society (1985- present), and previous committee member.

Member of the Biochemical Society (1985-present).