Dr Gutierrez's main contribution to teaching is in the field of Biochemistry, with an emphasis on protein and peptide science. Teaching interests include protein-catalyzed reactions (enzyme kinetics) as well as the application of physical methods such as calorimetry to the study of proteins and their interactions with other biological molecules.
Dr Gutierrez’s field of expertise is in-vitro protein biochemistry. He initially trained as a Chemical Engineer (first degree) and obtained his MSc (1994) and Ph.D. (1998) degrees in protein biochemistry. His technical skills encompass protein expression and purification, bio-catalysis (enzymology), protein interactions (microcalorimetry, ITC, DSC) and in-solution structural studies.
Since 1998, Dr Gutierrez has been working on the drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 system, initially in the “Centre for Mechanisms of Human Toxicity” (Leicester, 1998-2003) and then in the Biochemistry Department at the same university (2003-2007). In 2003, he was awarded a “Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship”, one of the most prestigious young scientist awards in the UK. He moved to NTU in 2008.
Dr Gutierrez is a member of the Biosciences Team. His research interests include:
- Energetics of the interaction between protein and biological molecules such as inhibitors, ligands, substrates and partner proteins (isothermal titration calorimetry).
- Relation between ligand binding energy and functional dynamics in multi-domain proteins (thermodynamic, kinetic and structural aspects)
- Redox activation of cytotoxic anti-cancer prodrugs by human cytochrome P450 reductase.
His work has focused especially in the reductase partner, cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). Lately, he has been investigating the redox activation of anti-cancer prodrugs by CPR in collaboration with Prof. Ian Stratford (Manchester).
His area of expertise is in-vitro protein biochemistry: protein purification techniques, enzyme kinetics (the study of protein-catalysed reactions and its mechanisms), protein interactions with other biological molecules using calorimetry (isothermal titration calorimetry, differential scanning calorimetry) and in-solution determination of protein structures.
Training in protein biochemistry includes as well standard DNA modification protocols, specifically site-directed mutagenesis. This technique allows introducing changes in the amino acid composition of a protein by means of modifying its gene. In this way the relation between structure and function in a protein can be studied.
Dr Gutierrez has extensive experience supervising research students during almost 20 years of practical laboratory work, including leading his own group as an independent researcher. Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD may exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.
- Invited Lecturer. 3rd year Biochemistry Course. University College London (UCL) since 2004. Fast reaction enzyme kinetics: theory and techniques. Binding energy and molecular recognition in electron-transfer proteins.
- Scientific Reviewer for Journal of Molecular Biology (JMB) and Biochemistry (ACS).
Recent research funding has included:
- Wellcome Trust Value in People Award (VIP) (2007-2008), £41,000
- Research Career Development Fellowship, Wellcome Trust, (2003-2007), £330,000
- "Coenzyme binding energy and domain dynamics in cytochrome P450 reductase" CCLRC Grant 48131. Competitive award of synchrotron beam-time at Daresbury Synchrotron Radiation Source (2006-2007)
- Isothermal Titration Calorimetry: novel and established applications in redox enzymology” Acquisition of a VP-ITC calorimeter BBSRC REI 120488 with N.S. Scrutton, G.C.K. Roberts, A.W. Munro, E. Raven (2004), £29,250
Sponsors and collaborators
Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration and/or support of:
- Dr Gunter Grossmann (University of Liverpool)
- Professor Gordon C.K. Roberts (University of Leicester)
- Professor John E. Ladbury (UCL, London)
- Professor Ian J. Stratford (University of Manchester)
- Professor Nigel S. Scrutton (University of Manchester)
- Professor C. Roland Wolf OBE (University of Dundee)