Amit Sachdeva


  • 3.50 Chemistry

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Personal profile


We are always looking for candidates to join our group for PhD or Postdoctoral work. Please contact Amit Sachdeva ( directly to express your interest.

PhD studentship opportunity: We currently have one fully funded PhD studentship available in our group. If you are interested in this position, please read more- Development of ultrafast and highly sensitive diagnostics for airborne viral infections (SACHDEVA_U23DTP) (

Amit Sachdeva is the Director of Postgraduate Research in Chemistry at UEA. His research interests are in the area of Chemical Biology and Synthetic Biology. Amit completed his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was involved in identification of DNA-based enzymes with potential for biomedical and diagnostic applications. He then moved to Cambridge for postdoctoral work at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Here, he was involved in developing methods to enable synthesis of proteins containing multiple non-natural amino acids in live cells.

At the University of East Anglia, Amit’s research group is interested in developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics. His group has developed light-activated antibodies. These antibodies bind to cell surface receptors on live cancer cells only upon irradiation with light of a specific wavelength. More recently, his group has developed one of the first photoactive photoreactive protein. His research group is also focusing its efforts on developing methods to genetically encode new unnatural amino acids that would provide access to several medically important proteins.

Selected publications

Bridge, U. Wegmann, K. Orman, S. A. Shaikh, J. Crack, W. Farndon & A. Sachdeva* (2022).
Site-specific encoding of photoactivity and photoreactivity into antibody fragments. Nature Chemical Biology, Accepted for Publication (Pending Editorial Review).

Sachdeva & T. Bridge (2020)
Photoactive antibodies - Patent WO-2020193981-A1 - PubChem (

Cheng, E. Kuru, A. Sachdeva & M. Vendrell (2020)
Fluorescent amino acids as versatile building blocks for chemical biology.
Nature Reviews Chemistry, 4, 275.

T. Bridge, S.A. Shaikh, P. Thomas, J. Botta, P.J. McCormick & A. Sachdeva (2019)
Site‐Specific Encoding of Photoactivity in Antibodies Enables Light‐Mediated Antibody–Antigen Binding on Live Cells.
Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed., 58,17986.

D.T. Rogerson, A. Sachdeva, K. Wang, T. Haq, A. Kazlauskaite, S.M. Hancock, N. Huguenin-Dezot, M.M.K. Muqit, A.M. Fry, R. Bayliss and and J.W. Chin. (2015)
Efficient genetic encoding of phosphoserine and its non-hydrolyzable analog.
Nature Chemical Biology11, 496-503.

A. Sachdeva, K. Wang, T.S. Elliott and and J.W. Chin. (2014)
Concerted, rapid, quantitative and site-specific dual labeling of protein.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), 2014, 136, 7785-7788.

K. Wang*, A. Sachdeva*, D.J. Cox, N.W. Wilf, K. Lang, S. Wallace R.A. Mehl and J.W. Chin. (2014)
Optimized orthogonal translation of unnatural amino acids enables spontaneous protein double labelling and FRET.
Nature Chemistry2014, 6, 393-403. (*=equal contributions)

Key Research Interests

Nature elegantly orchestrates complex chemical and physical transformations to accomplish functions as diverse as transmitting information across generations to harvesting energy from sunlight. These natural processes are achieved by the limited chemical functionality available to biology. Expanding the repertoire of chemical functional groups available to biology can lead to development of new biological systems with potential applications in biotechnology, biofuels and medicine. The focus of our current research work is in developing methods to enable genetic incorporation of structurally diverse non-natural amino acids into proteins and also, to employ these non-natural amino acids to create novel proteins that can be used in medicine.

If you are interested in a postdoctoral position in our laboratory, please email me directly. We are very interested in potential postdocs with a strong background in cell biology, synthetic biology or chemical biology. Applicants are encouraged to look for funding sources, including Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral FellowshipMarie Curie FellowshipsNewton Fellowship.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or