School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Professor John McGeehan

Professor John McGeehan

  • Qualifications: BSc, PhD
  • Role Title: Professor of Structural Biology/ Co-Director- Institute of Biomedical & Biomolecular Science
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2042
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


In 1993 I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) degree in Microbiology. I went on to complete a PhD in Virology at the Medical Research Council Virology Unit, Glasgow. I worked in the Structural Biology Laboratories at the University of York before joining Professor Geoff Kneales’ group at Portsmouth University in 2000, where I worked for five years on DNA-binding proteins. I obtained a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2005 with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Grenoble, France in the group of Dr Raimond Ravelli researching macromolecular crystallography and spectroscopy.

In 2007, I re-joined the University of Portsmouth taking up the prestigious appointment of RCUK Fellow and commissioned an X-ray crystallography facility. I was appointed to Reader of Structural Biology in 2012. I have an interest in both the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids and their complexes. I combine X-ray crystallography with other biophysical methods such as spectroscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering.

For more information about my research please visit my lab page

Teaching Responsibilities

My teaching roles at Portsmouth are aligned with my major research areas in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. I teach at all levels and cover basic biochemistry within L4 courses including ‘Cell Biology and Biochemistry’, ‘Perspectives in Biochemistry’ and practical laboratory skills in ‘Experimental Biology’. My main teaching is devoted to the L6 units in ‘Biotechnology’ and ‘Biomolecular Science’ where a significant amount of the course is based on the very latest research in these fast moving fields. In ‘Biomolecular Science’ I also run practical laboratory workshops in X-ray crystallography where students receive hands-on practical experience with some of our high-end scientific equipment for solving 3D protein structures. I also supervise multiple final year undergraduate project students.

I am a Personal Tutor and Director of Studies for several PhD and MRes students.


  • Structure and function of novel marine lignocellulose degrading enzymes
  • Structural analysis of mitochondrial-encoded proteins
  • Control of restriction-modification (R-M) systems
  • Nucleosome assembly proteins
  • DNA damage and therapeutic mechanisms of the anti-cancer drug Cisplatin
  • Combining crystallography and spectroscopy
  • Prion capture and gene 5 protein

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile