Modelling Industrially Important Biological and Chemical Catalysts

PETase and related enzymes have created much interest due to their potential use in the commercial recycling of plastic waste.  The work presented here will demonstrate that molecular modelling has a key role to play in understanding how these enzymes work and also how they can be optimised for maximum performance.  One question of particular interest is understanding why some enzymes are able to break down amorphous PET much better than the crystalline material.

There are some striking similarities between modelling PETases and inorganic zeolite catalysts.  This talk will aim to highlight these similarities and to emphasise the complementary nature of the approaches that can be used to investigate these two industrially important types of catalysts.

Watch a recording of the presentation below:


photo of Prof. Paul Cox

Professor Paul Cox graduated from University College London with a first-class degree in Chemical Physics.  He then conducted his PhD studies on superionic conductors at the University of Keele under the supervision of Professor Sir Richard Catlow FRS.  This was followed by a spell in industry, where he was part of the Molecular Modelling team at ICI Advanced Materials in Wilton, UK.  In 1992, he joined the University of Portsmouth where he is now Professor of Materials Chemistry.  His research work focuses on the application of molecular modelling techniques to investigate the properties of chemical and biological systems.  Areas of particular interest include enzyme catalysts, zeolites and drug design.  He has published over 70 papers and his modelling work has played an important role in helping to solve the structure of several novel zeolitic materials.

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