Andrea Townsend-Nicholson

Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Based at UCL

Personal Website

Molecular cloning and functional characterization of cell surface receptors and transporters

I am interested in understanding how extracellular signals are transduced into intracellular responses. My research is strongly focused on enhancing our understanding of the molecular basis of health and disease and my work focuses primarily on elucidating the role of cell surface receptors in these processes. We closely integrate experimental methods (molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, cellular imaging, cell signalling and molecular pharmacology) with computational methods (ensemble-based molecular dynamics simulations of protein-protein-interactions and binding free energies) to study purinergic, glutamatergic, GABAergic and dopaminergic responses in the central and autonomic nervous systems and in the cardiovascular system. I am also interested in the development of new technologies to help gain a more refined understanding of existing cellular systems and to use these methods, in the case of bioelectrosprays, to generate new tissues and biological structures from individual cells for therapeutic benefit.

Selected publications

Rapid and Accurate Assessment of GPCR-Ligand Interactions Using the Fragment Molecular Orbital Based Density-Functional Tight-Binding (FMO-DFTB) Method
Morao, I., Fedorov, D.G., Robinson, R., Southey, M., Townsend-Nicholson, A., Bodkin, M.J., Heifetz, A.
Journal of Computational Chemistry (2017) 38 (23):1987–1990
An Ensemble-Based Protocol for the Computational Prediction of Helix-Helix Interactions in G Protein-Coupled Receptors using Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics
Altwaijry, N.A., Baron, M., Wright, D.W., Coveney, P.V., Townsend-Nicholson, A.
Molecular characterisation of post-bio-electrosprayed human brain astrocytoma cells
Eddaoudi, A., Townsend-Nicholson, A., Timms, J.F., Schorge, S., Jayasinghe, S.N.
Analyst (2010) 135 (10):2600-2612