Martin Anthony Fascione

Martin Anthony Fascione


Former affiliations

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Research interests

Bioorthogonal Chemical Glycobiology

  • exploration of rare sugars in bacterial infections
  • mechanisms of stereoselective glycosylation
  • chemical and enzymatic modification of proteins
  • chemoenzymatic and automated oligosaccharide synthesis
  • solid phase peptide synthesis
  • unnatural amino acid mutagenesis

Carbohydrates are integral in a number of important biological processes including tumour metastasis, bacterial and viral recognition, and the immunological response. Following the sequencing of the human genome over a decade ago, breakthroughs in the field have stimulated a glycoscience research boom which has undoubtedly yielded stunning results but also served to highlight how little we still understand about carbohydrates in all domains of life.

The Fascione group studies carbohydrates at the interface between chemistry and biology- a field commonly termed ‘chemical glycobiology’. Our focus is on deciphering the roles that carbohydrates play in the etiology of disease and applying this knowledge in the development of innovative new therapeutics. To achieve this goal we develop new methods for bioorthogonal chemistry and protein bioconjugation, using small molecule organocatalysts and an interdisciplinary toolkit of techniques including synthetic and automated carbohydrate chemistry, solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS), the enzymatic and chemical modification of proteins, unnatural amino acid mutagenesis and molecular enzymology.

Employment History

From                Appointed Lecturer in Chemical Biology in the York Structural Biology Lab,

Aug 2014          Department of Chemistry, University of York, UK.

Aug 2013 -        Marie Curie Research Fellow

present              York Structural Biology Lab, University of York, UK

Postdoctoral Studies:Mechanistic study of carbohydrate processing enzymes using protein semi-synthesis and x-ray crystallography.

Supervisor:        Professor Gideon Davies, FRS. Project Title: Xylanases as models for understanding enzymatic catalysis

Aug 2012 -        Marie Curie Research Fellow

Aug 2013          University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Postdoctoral Studies:Mechanistic study of carbohydrate processing enzymes using molecular biology, enzyme kinetics and in-vivo unnatural amino acid mutagenesis.

Supervisor:        Professor Stephen G. Withers, FRS.Project Title: Xylanases as models for understanding enzymatic catalysis.

Aug 2009 -        University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Aug 2012          Postdoctoral Studies:      Development of general strategies for constructing three-dimensional nanoscale virus-like particles using protein-ligand interactions, including solid phase synthesis of glycopeptide mimics and site-specific N-terminal chemical modification of proteins.

Supervisor:        Assoc. Professor W. Bruce Turnbull. Project Title: Self-Assembling Virus-Like Particles.

Oct 2005 -         University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Aug 2009          Ph.D. Studies: Synthetic Carbohydrate Chemistry.

Supervisor:        Assoc. Professor W. Bruce Turnbull. Thesis Title: Development of Novel Oxathiane Glycosyl Donors.

Oct 2001 -         University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

June 2005         M.Chem.: 1st Class in Medicinal Chemistry.            Supervisor: Professor Ron Grigg, FRS.


Martin Fascione received his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in 2009, working under the tutelage of W. Bruce Turnbull on the stereoselective synthesis of 1,2-cis-glycosides. Following a postdoctoral period in Leeds, Martin was awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship to study the mechanisms of carbohydrate processing enzymes with Prof. Steve Withers, FRS, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (2012-2013) and Prof. Gideon Davies, FRS, FmedSci, at the University of York, UK (2013-2014). In August 2014 he took up a lectureship in the York Structural Biology Laboratory, within the Department of Chemistry. His research interests include the chemical glycobiology of rare sugars in bacterial infections, synthetic carbohydrate chemistry, automated peptide and oligosaccharide synthesis and the chemical/enzymatic modification of proteins.


  • QD Chemistry

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or