Anthony P. Green

2024 United Kingdom Award Winner — Faculty

Anthony P. Green

Current Position:
Professor of Organic and Biological Chemistry

The University of Manchester

Organic Chemistry

Recognized for: The design and engineering of enzymes to catalyze chemical reactions not possible using conventional techniques. Building from fundamentals of synthetic chemistry, Green designs and evolves bespoke enzymes to perform valuable chemical reactions, unlocking synthetic pathways never seen before in chemistry labs or in nature.


Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Enzyme Design, Directed Evolution, Organic Synthesis, Industrial Biocatalysis, Enzymology

Previous Positions:

  • MSci, University of Nottingham
  • PhD, The University of Manchester (Advisor: Jim Thomas)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, The University of Manchester (Advisors: Nicholas Turner and Sabine Flitsch)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (Advisor: Donald Hilvert)
  • BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow, The University of Manchester
  • Lecturer in Organic and Biological Chemistry, The University of Manchester

Research Summary:

Almost all biochemical processes are governed by enzymes – highly efficient catalysts that facilitate and accelerate chemical reactions. Enzymes also play crucial roles in many industrial applications, from food production to pharmaceutical manufacturing. However, the range of naturally occurring enzyme classes is limited; for many important chemical processes used in industry, there are no suitable natural enzymes. Anthony Green, PhD, is designing bespoke enzymes to perform new and valuable chemical reactions, unlocking synthetic pathways never seen before in chemistry labs or in nature.

Green’s pioneering research involves the targeted engineering of enzymes to catalyze chemical reactions not possible using conventional techniques. This research is allowing the chemical industry to develop more efficient and environmentally benign ways to solve global challenges. Biocatalysis has emerged as a key enabling technology for the sustainable manufacturing of chemicals that can be harnessed to produce biofuels, break down polluting plastics and develop new pharmaceuticals. Green draws on a detailed knowledge of synthetic chemistry, structural biology and advanced protein engineering to create new enzyme architectures for accelerating chemistries beyond those found in nature. Using a combination of computational design, advanced protein engineering techniques and directed evolution, Green’s laboratory can build new and improved enzymes from the ground up.

In one important recent example, Green re-engineered a natural enzyme called cytidine deaminase for the manufacture of molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral therapy. Green’s work enables low-cost manufacturing of molnupiravir and other critical pharmaceuticals, promoting fair and equitable access to medicines for the global population. Despite his early career stage, Green has emerged as a leader of enzyme design and engineering, making him uniquely positioned to influence the field for years ahead.

"My research aims to build enzymes with valuable catalytic functions to address societal needs. It is a great honour to be named the Blavatnik Laureate in Chemistry. I owe this success to the vision and dedication of an amazing team of co-workers."

Key Publications:

  1. J.S. Trimble, R. Crawshaw, F.J. Hardy, C.W. Levy, M.J.B. Brown, D.E. Fuerst, D. Heyes, R. Obexer, A.P. Green. A Designed Photoenzyme for Enantioselective [2+2]-Cycloadditions. Nature, 2022.
  2. R.Crawshaw, A.E. Crossley, L. Johannissen, A.J. Burke, S. Hay, C. Levy, D. Baker, S.L. Lovelock, A.P. Green. Engineering an Efficient and Enantioselective Enzyme for the Morita-Baylis-Hillman Reaction. Nature Chemistry, 2022.
  3. E. Bell, R. Smithson, S. Kilbride, J. Foster, F.J. Hardy, S. Ramachandran, A. Tedstone, S. Haigh, A. Garforth, P. Day, C. Levy, M. Shaver, A.P. Green. Directed Evolution of an Efficient and Thermostable PET Depolymerase. Nature Catalysis, 2022.
  4. A.J. Burke, S.L. Lovelock, A. Frese, R. Crawshaw, M. Ortmayer, M. Dunstan, C. Levy, A.P. Green. Design and Evolution of an Enzyme with a Non-Canonical Organocatalytic Mechanism. Nature, 2019.

Other Honors:

2023  Consolidator Grant, European Research Council
2020  Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry
2017  Starter Grant, European Research Council
2017  Outstanding Achievement Award, The University of Manchester
2016  BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship, UK Research and Innovation
2014  Exceptional Achievement Award, The University of Manchester
2009  EPSRC Doctoral Prize, UK Research and Innovation
2005  Graduate Prize, Salter’s Institute


In the Media: 

Chemistry World Engineered Enzyme Speeds Up Sedate Organic Reaction

Nature Research HighlightMicrobial Enzyme Helps to Churn Out Scarce COVID Drug at Full Tilt

The New StatesmanHow We Can Democratise Medicine and Create Fair Access

ACS Chemical and Engineering NewsNonnatural Amino Acid Amps Up Enzyme Efficiency