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Prof Paul Dalby
Dept Biochemical Engineering, UCL
Bernard Katz Building, Gordon Street
Prof Paul Dalby profile picture
  • Professor of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Paul Dalby is a Professor in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology at UCL, Deputy Head of the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering, Co-Director of the EPSRC Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub, Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Macromolecular Therapies, Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Other current and previous roles include:

- EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for Manufacturing the Future (2020 - to date

- Management Board of BioProNet2 (2015 – to date)

- Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry Biotechnology Interest Group (2008 – to date)

UKRI FLF Peer Review College Member (2018 – to date)

- RSC Chemistry Biology Interface Division committee (2014-2016)

- BBSRC Bioprocess Research Industry Club (BRIC) Steering Group Member (2013-2016)

- IBLF Industrial Biotechnology Skills Group member (2012-2017)

- BBSRC Research Grant Panel Committee D core member (2011- 2014)

Paul joined UCL as a principle investigator in April 2000. Prior to UCL he was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, with Prof Bill DeGrado.  He graduated with a Natural Sciences degree from the University of Cambridge and received his PhD in 1998, also from the University of Cambridge, for work on protein engineering and protein folding under the guidance of Sir Prof Alan Fersht at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering. 

Research Summary

Paul Dalby leads research at UCL on protein engineering, formulation and manufacturing, for therapeutic proteins, vaccines and novel enzyme biocatalysts.

He develops new protein engineering and formulation strategies for improved stability and activity of biocatalytic enzymes and therapeutic proteins, that ease their manufacture and delivery to patients.  This combines computational simulations, machine learning and biophysics to elucidate aggregation mechanisms, and predictively guide protein engineering and protein formulation, in both the liquid and freeze-dried states.  He collaborates extensively with Dr Paul Matejtschuk (NIBSC), and Prof Stephen Perkins (UCL) to achieve these aims. 

Paul pioneered the use of smart directed evolution libraries guided by protein structure analysis, substrate docking in silico, and bioinformatics, and patented the concept of substrate walking for iteratively evolving an enzyme towards acceptance of progressively more distant substrates. He recently incorporated non-natural amino acids into an enzyme active site to improve activity and stability.

He has improved the stability, activity, substrate range and enantioselectivity of a range of biocatalytic enzymes, often collaborating with John Ward (Biochemical Engineering) and Helen Hailes (Chemistry). 


Paul Co-Directs the EPSRC Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub, which partners over 40 UK companies, to tackle challenges in the manufacture of stratified protein therapies and personalised cell therapies such as CAR-T.  


Funding for the above research has come from the UK BBSRC, EPSRC, InnovateUK, and a range of company collaborators.

Since July 2008 Paul has been Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Biotechnology Interest Group which aims to engage academia, industry and the public in debate and scientific discussion on advances in Biotechnology. He received the Evonik European Science-to-Business Award in November 2008 for his work on engineering enzyme routes for the production of chiral intermediates.

Teaching Summary

Paul's teaching activities span all years of the various degree course programmes operated by the Department. He coordinates several modules including Protein Biochemistry and Biophysics for Engineers (Yr2 UG), Chemistry for Biochemical Engineers (Yr3 UG), and the post-experience MBI training module in Antibody Targeted Therapy. He also teaches aspects of protein biochemistry, formulation, enzyme kinetics, biocatalysis and protein engineering, on a range of other modules for undergraduate and Masters level students. 

Paul also has a key administrative role as Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies. 

Paul is also an External Examiner for the MSc in Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield (2017 – to date).

01-OCT-2013 Professor Biochemical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2009 Reader Biochemical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2007 – 01-SEP-2009 Senior Lecturer Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
01-APR-2000 – 01-SEP-2007 Lecturer Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
15-JAN-1998 – 15-JAN-2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania, United States
01-SEP-1994 – 15-JAN-1998 PhD MRC Centre for Protein Engineering University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1997   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1994   Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1993   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Cambridge
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