Akane Kawamura


Having completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry (MChem) at University of Oxford, Akane obtained her D.Phil in Pharmacology under the supervision of Prof. Edith Sim. She then spent three years in biotech sector, where she led multiple early discovery projects across a wide number of therapeutic areas. In 2009 she returned to University of Oxford to work with Prof. Chris Schofield FRS on developing chemical probes for epigenetic targets. She was awarded a BHF CRE Senior Fellowship (2012), a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2013) and an ERC Starting grant in 2016. She was appointed as University Research Lecturer in 2016 and in 2019 an Associate Professor. In October 2019, she was appointed as a Chair and Professor of Chemical Biology at Newcastle University and currently holds a joint position between the two Universities. Akane is a director of the Oxford-GSK-Crick Chemical Biology Centre for Doctoral Training (University of Oxford) and a co-director of Wellcome PhD Programme Chemistry in Cells (University of Oxford).

Research in her group centres on the chemistry of epigenetics, in particular of methylation on DNA and histones which are fundamental to understanding how cells function and respond in development and in disease. Using chemical biology and biochemical approaches, her group studies enzymes and proteins that regulate methylation states to understand their biochemical and biological functions and to explore their potential as therapeutic targets.

10/2019-current Chair and Professor of Chemical Biology, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University
01/2019-current Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
04/2016-12/2018 University Research Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
01/2013-06/2018 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Department of Chemistry & Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
07/2012-12/2015 British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence Senior Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Chemistry & Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
08/2009-06/2012 Senior Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford (Prof. Christopher J Schofield FRS)
11/2006-08/2009 Senior Scientist, Summit PLC, Oxford
09/2005-10/2006 Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford (Prof. Edith Sim)
2005 D.Phil Pharmacology (supervisor Prof. Edith Sim), Linacre College, University of Oxford
2000 M.Chem, University College, University of Oxford

Current Major Grants

Cancer Research UK Programme Grant (joint lead – with Prof. Chris Schofield)

European Research Council Starting Grant (EPITOOLS)



Chemical Probes Portal Scientific Advisory Board (2020 -)

Communications Chemistry Editorial Board member (2018-2020)

RSC Chemical Biology & Bio-Organic Chemistry (CBBG) Interest Group Committee member (Newcastle University representative)

EPSRC Peer Review College member (2013-)

Management committee of COST member (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action CM1406 Epigenetic Chemical Biology (EPICHEM) (2015-2019)