Research groups

Dr Richard Sessions
Richard Sessions
Senior Research Fellow

+44 (0)117 33 12145 (tel)
+44 (0)117 33 12168 (fax)


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Model of the human prion protein.

Molecular Modelling in Biochemistry.

Molecular modelling is a very useful tool in the design and interpretation of experiments. This is well recognised in Bristol, where most research groups have used this technique, to a greater or lesser extent.

Molecular modelling can also be thought of as a subset of Bioinformatics and, as we pass into the "post-genomic sequence era", this field will play an ever more important role in scientific research.

Computer hardware advances continue to follow Moore’s law, formulated in the 1960’s, which states that machine speed’s roughly double every 18 months. This is allowing the application of evermore sophisticated modelling techniques to routine problems. The following molecular modelling techniques and projects are actively pursued in the School of Biochemistry:

  • homology modelling
  • ligand/drug design
  • mutant design
  • molecular mechanics/dynamics
  • semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations
  • protein structure prediction.



Amaurys Avila-Ibarra.

Recent publications

Piggot TJ, Sessions RB, Burston SG. (2012) Towards a detailed description of the pathways of allosteric communication in the GroEL chaperonin through atomistic simulation. Biochemistry. 51(8): 1707-1718.

Freir DB, Nicoll AJ, Klyubin I, Panico S, Mc Donald JM, Risse E, Asante EA, Farrow MA, Sessions RB, Saibil HR, Clarke AR, Rowan MJ, Walsh DM, Collinge J. (2011) Interaction between prion protein and toxic amyloid β assemblies can be therapeutically targeted at multiple sites. Nature Communications. 2: 336.

McIntosh-Smith S, Wilson T, Avila Ibarra A, Crisp J, Sessions RB. (2011) Benchmarking energy efficiency, power costs and carbon emissions on heterogeneous systems. The Computer Journal. Doi: 10.1093/comjnl/bxr091.

Kuwada NJ, Zukermann MJ, Bromley EHC, Sessions RB, Curmi PMG, Forde NR, Woolfson DN, Linke H. (2011) Tuning the performance of an artificial protein motor. Physical Review E. 84: 031922,1-7.

View all publications listed on the University of Bristol's publication database