Personal profile

Research interests

Nigel Brissett is a protein biochemist whose research focuses on the structural and molecular biology of protein/DNA interactions with a specific focus on the DNA damage response.

Currently, his research is focussed on repair enzymes involved in the detection and resolution of breaks to double strand DNA in prokaryotes.

Nigel is currently the Biochemical Society Local Ambassador for the University of Brighton.

Supervisory Interests

Nigel's research interests cover many aspects of Biochemistry with a focus on strucutral biology with respect to DNA damage and repair. More recently, Nigel has interests in the field of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. Nigel is applying various biochemical approaches to attempt solve the big problems that are presented by the these conditions.

Nigel has supervised MSc and PhD level students and is currently co-supervisor of a pharmacy PhD student who is researching biomarkers of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

Scholarly biography

Initially graduating with a combined (Hons) degree in Biochemistry/Chemistry from Aston University, Nigel moved to the University of London where he was awarded PhD in 1996 for “Structural studies of domains of aggrecan and link protein from human cartilage”.

In 1997 Nigel started an EU funded postdoctoral position with Prof. Andrew Smith at the University of Sussex looking at peroxidases in agriculture, the environment and industry. Whilst working with Prof. Smith Nigel expanded his structural biology repertoire and became interested in X-ray crystallography as a tool for providing answers to biochemical questions at an atomic level.

In 2005, Nigel moved to the group of Prof. Aidan Doherty at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre where he researched the molecular aspects of non-homologous end joining in prokaryotes and DNA damage tolerance during replication in eukaryotes. Working with Prof. Doherty has allowed Nigel to expand his structural biology experience and repertoire. During this time Nigel also gained his Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. In the autumn of 2019, Nigel joined the University of Brighton as a Senior Lecturer.

Approach to teaching

I like to draw on examples of my own and colleague's research experience when teaching students. This allows me to present my subject matter in relevent research focussed context. I am also a great believer in engaging students in converstion to address misconceptions and highlight potentially difficult concepts.

Currently, I teach a variety of material ranging from protein biochemistry to metabolic processes across different degree courses. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of London


Bachelor, Aston University


External positions

Visiting Scientist, University of Sussex

Sept 2019 → …


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