Dr Jamie Baker

Dr Jamie Baker

Associate Professor

Dept of Chemistry

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
14th Feb 2005

Research summary

Our research group is interdisciplinary and highly collaborative, working in the area of Chemical Biology and the boundaries between organic synthesis, biology and medicine.  We are particularly interested in investigating new methodologies for carrying out chemical reactions at specific locations on the surface of proteins, to access bioconjugates with useful biological or medical properties.  For example, we have pioneered a range of new reagents (including Next Generation Maleimides, NGMs) and protocols for cysteine conjugation, disulfide bridging and transfer ligations.  We apply such bioconjugation strategies in diverse applications, including in the improved construction of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Such ADCs represent a powerful new class of targeted therapeutics, in which the antibody serves as a vehicle to deliver drugs specifically to cancer cells. We are also interested in the application of photochemistry within Chemical Biology, such as using light to trigger reactions which induce a biological change.  For example, we have developed photoactive probes for controlling ion-channel activity and new tuneable chromophores for the release of bioactives from conjugates.   

Teaching summary

I am the Chair of the Departmental Teaching Committee, and as such have responsibility for guiding teaching strategy in the Department of Chemistry. I have taught Organic Chemistry across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including lecturing, demonstrating, running laboratories, leading tutorials and workshops.  I currently lecture on a 3rd year course exploring organic photochemistry and reactive intermediates, and a 4th year course in Asymmetric Synthesis.  I also supervise MSci and Masters students every year in undertaking their research projects. 


University of Bristol
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2004
University of Nottingham
Other higher degree, Master of Science (Honours) | 2000


I was born and grew up in Brighton, before carrying out my undergraduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham.  I graduated there with a 1st Class MSci degree in 2000, then worked briefly in medicinal chemistry as a research scientist at Novartis. I carried out my PhD (2001-2005) at the University of Bristol with Prof Kevin Booker-Milburn, investigating photochemical reactions and their application towards natural product synthesis.  In 2005 I moved to UCL to carry out postdoctoral research with Prof Steve Caddick, exploring synthetic methodologies to construct enediyne antitumor antibiotics and working on a project with Sir James Black on isoform selective beta-blockers.  In 2007 I was awarded an RCUK Fellowship in Chemical Biology to establish my independent research group at UCL.  I have been a lecturer at UCL (2012-2014), Senior Lecturer (2014-2017), and Reader/Associate Professor (2017-2021).  I am also a co-founder of the spin-out company ThioLogics (www.thiologics.com), which commercialises site-specific conjugation methods for the assembly of next generation Biologics.