Personal profile


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Myles Cheesman graduated from University of Cambridge with a B.A. in Natural Sciences in 1983. He then moved to UEA to join the group of Professor Andrew Thomson and studied for a PhD on the spectroscopic properties of nickel ions and iron-sulphur clusters in bacterial proteins. Post-doctoral research on heme-copper oxidases was followed by a period as Senior Research Officer responsible for the Magnetic Circular Dichroism (MCD) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) laboratories of the Centre for Metalloprotein Spectroscopy and Biology (CMSB) and then appointment to faculty in 2004.

Myles’ research centres on the use of of MCD and EPR spectroscopy to study proteins containing transition metal ions:

One third of all proteins would not function were it not for the presence of one or more metal cofactors. Enzymes which catalyse the redox transformation of small inorganic substrates, such as O2, NO, NO2- and S2O32-, invariably contain transition metal ions, both as electron transfer centres and at the active site itself. Thus the bacterial enzymes which drive the global nitrogen and sulphur cycles and the enzymes of the O2-terminated respiratory chains of many organisms are almost all transition metalloproteins.

The techniques of MCD and EPR detect species which possess colour and paramagnetism and are therefore eminently suited to the study of these protein-bound inorganic complexes, providing information on metal identity, redox state, nature of ligands and interactions with other adjacent metal sites. These methods are currently used to study a wide variety of metalloproteins with a current emphasis on multiheme enzymes. Much of this work necessitates active collaboration with other research groups within the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Biological Chemistry and with members of the School of Biological Sciences through the Centre for Metalloprotein Spectroscopy and Biology (CMSB).

Selected Publications

Reaction of thiosulfate dehydrogenase with a substrate mimic induces dissociation of the cysteine heme ligand giving insights into the mechanism of oxidative catalysis
Jenner, LP; Crack, JC; Kurth, JM; Soldanova, Z; Brandt, L; Sokol, KP; Reisner, E; Bradley, JM; Dahl, C; Cheesman, MR; Butt, JN
J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2022) 144: 8296–18304
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c06062

Influence of the heme distal pocket on nitrite binding orientation and reactivity in Sperm Whale myoglobin
Tse, W; Whitmore, N; Cheesman, MR; Watmough, NJ
Biochem J (2021) 478: 927–942
DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20200596

Heme ligation and redox chemistry in two bacterial thiosulfate dehydrogenase (TsdA) enzymes
Jenner, LP; Kurth, JM; van Helmont, S; Sokol, KP; Reisner, E; Dahl, C; Bradley, JM; Butt, JN; Cheesman, MR
J. Biol. Chem. (2019)  294: 18002-18014
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010084
Mechanisms of iron- and O2-sensing by the [4Fe-4S] cluster of the global iron regulator RirA
Martinez, MTP; Crack, JC; Stewart, MYY; Bradley, JM; Svistunenko, DA; Johnston, AWB; Cheesman, MR; Todd, JD; Le Brun, NE
eLife (2019) 8: e47804

Key Research Interests

Research Funding

Molecular nanomagnets: Synthetic and spectroscopic exploration of the limits of information storage
Thomson, AJ and Cheesman, MR
01-Oct-03 - 30-Jun-09

The molecular enzymology of nitric oxide reductase: cellular saviour and global bandit
Watmough, NJ, Butt, JN, Cheesman, MR and Richardson, DJ
01-Sep-05 - 31-Aug-08

Mottle-MCD Spectroscopy with in situ electrochemical control
Butt, JN, Cheesman, MR and Durrant, J (Imperial)
01-Aug-05 - 31-Jul-08

Signal perception by the global transcription factor FNR
Thomson, AJ, Cheesman, MR and LeBrun, NE
15-Nov-04 - 14-Nov-07

Relaxation of electron spins by anisotropic paramagnetic metal centres; a novel probe of protein structure and dynamics
Thomson, AJ and Cheesman, MR
01-Aug-04 - 30-Sep-07

The cytochrome c nitrate reductase: an integrated study of nitrite and nitric oxide reduction by a deca-heme enzyme complex
Richardson, DJ, Butt, JN, Cheesman, MR, Hemmings, AM and Cole, J (Birmingham)
20-Oct-03 - 19-Jul-07

Wellcome Trust
JIF: Biophysical Chemistry at UEA
Thomson, AJ, Cheesman, MR, Le Brun, NE, Kleanthous, CK (York), Richardson, DJ, Watmough, NJ, Moore, GR, Butt, JN, Hemmings, AM and Hayward, S
01-Jun-01 - 30-Jun-06

Mapping of membrane proteins by multi-frequency time domain EPR
Thomson, AJ and Cheesman, MR
01-Oct-02 - 16-Jun-06

Structure-function studies of a novel haemoprotein involved in bacterial oxidation of thiosulfate & sulfide
Hemmings, AM, Butt, JN, Cheesman, MR and Berks, B (Oxford)
01-Jan-02 - 30-Apr-05

Structure and function of nitric oxide reducatase: An ancient oxidase
Thomson, A J, Cheesman, M R, Watmough, N, Richardson, D J & Spiro S
15-Nov-98 - 25-Nov-02

Research Group or Lab Membership


  • Sophie Marritt
  • Jessica van Wonderen
  • Gaye White
  • Justin Bradley
  • Sarah Field


  • Susan Bennett
  • John Holmes
  • Kate Haynes
  • Gemma Kemp
  • Louise Ottignon

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