Andrew Beekman


  • 2.32 Chemistry

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Always happy to discuss projects with potential Masters and PhD students Please feel free to email me.

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Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Work in the research group focuses on targeting protein-protein interactions in cancer highlighted by mutations in non-cancerous disease. We have expertise in the design of protein-protein interaction modulators and their evaluation in in vitro protein assays and cellular assays. We use peptides derived from the natural protein partners as scaffolds to identify small molecule inhibitors, suitable for drug development.

Current projects look at 1) inhibiting the immune checkpoint of PD-1/PD-L1 by developing small molecules based on cyclic peptides. 2) Inhibiting the protein-protein interactions in telomerase based on mutations observed in early ageing diseases. 3) Inhibiting the protein-protein interactions of the transcription factors Nrf2 and MafG based on mutations observed in inflammation related cataracts.

Research Group or Lab Membership

PhD Students

Dee Hayward - October 2020 -

Suzanne van Wier - October 2020 -

Jack Connor - September 2021 -

Ellie Hyde - October 2021 -

Owen Mullen - June 2023 -

Jenna Conway - October 2023 -


Join the Group

We are always excited to hear from prospective PhD students and post-doctoral research fellows. 

All funded positions will be advertised on the UEA vacancies website, and on FindAPhD or

We are always happy to support any applications for external funding. If you would like to discuss project ideas or find more information on external funding opportunities, please email Andrew.


Andrew took up a position as an Independent Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy in February 2017, and as a Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry in April 2019. His research interests include developing new methods to target protein-protein interactions, finding new pharmaceutical leads and chemical probes for protein-protein interactions, and designing new molecular recognition structures for delivery of cytotoxic warheads.

In 2015, Andrew moved to the University of East Anglia, School of Pharmacy to work with Dr Lesley Howell, examining the protein-protein interaction of Mcl-1 and NOXA, proteins which regulate apoptosis and are commonly exploited by cancers. In 2016, Andrew began working with Prof. Mark Searcey, on common fruit metabolites as anti-inflammatory agents, and the targeting of small molecules to DNA trinucleotide repeat disorders.

Andrew studied for his B.Sc.(Adv.) at the Australian National University and received a First Class Honours degree in 2009. He began his Ph.D. in 2010 with Assoc. Prof. Russell Barrow at the Research School of Chemistry as an Alan Sargeson Scholar, focusing on the synthesis of biologically active natural products from fungi used by tribes from Papua New Guinea. In 2014, he won an Endeavour Research Fellowship to train with Assoc. Prof. Gregory Dake at the University of British Columbia, Department of Chemistry, Vancouver, Canada. Whilst at UBC Andrew designed new organometallic controlled reactions to prepare natural products.

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University

1 Feb 20101 Sep 2013

Award Date: 24 Jan 2014

Bachelor of Science, Australian National University

1 Feb 20061 Nov 2009

Award Date: 1 Nov 2009

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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