Proteins have evolved over hundreds of years to perform highly sophisticated tasks ranging from energy production to detoxification of harmful substrates, yet their structural fragility continues to limit their application beyond biological systems. In order to allow the utility of these systems to reach their full potential, it is essential that a strategy for preserving the three-dimensional structure - which represents the key to their efficacy - be developed. Our research is focused on understanding how to achieve this through building non-natural materials capable of encapsulating proteins, and thus stabilising their structure.

It is envisioned that materials capable of encapsulating proteins in their native form will prevent or inhibit their denaturation.

Broadly our research interests span the fields of inorganic chemistry, materials science and biochemistry. Skills and knowledge drawn from each of these disciplines will be combined within our interdisciplinary research program.



The University of Manchester

Our MChem Student Will presented his fourth year project proposal poster. Well done Will!



The University of Manchester

Check out our new PhD position here!

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The University of Manchester

Welcoming new members Becky, Jonathan and Will to the group!



The University of Manchester

Happy Halloween from 80% of the Riddell group!

About Imogen

Imogen A. Riddell

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Imogen was born and raised in the scottish borders before completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She then moved to the University of Cambridge where she completed a PhD in the Nitschke group developing novel self-assembling architectures for a variety of applications. Following this she moved to Boston, to work with Professor Stephen Lippard at MIT. She joined the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester as a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow in 2017 and in 2018 was appointed as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. Imogen is also on the editorial board of Transition Metal Chemistry.  
In her spare time Imogen enjoys running, hillwalking and sharing a meal with friends.

Dr Jonathan Robson


Jonathan completed his undergraduate degree and PhD at Imperial College London working under the supervision of Dr James Wilton-Ely. His PhD focused on using ruthenium (II) vinyl complexes to detect carbon monoxide in biological environments.

At Manchester, Jonathan's research is focused on the encapsulation and stabilisation of proteins within supramolecular structures. This project aims to retain the original structure of proteins whilst allowing them to exist outside of biological systems.


In his spare time Jonathan enjoys drinking blush rosé and watching the real housewives franchise.

Lauren Taylor

PhD Student

Lauren is originally from Manchester and before moving back for her PhD, she spent four years at The University of Leeds completing her MChem degree.


Lauren's research is focused on transition metal coordination chemistry and site specific binding of metals in self-assembly reactions with asymmetric ligands.

Lauren enjoys playing Korfball, watching true crime documentaries and drinking wine.

Dan spent four years at the University of Leeds completing his MChem degree with a final year research project in the Halcrow group on spin-crossover tridentate Fe(II) complexes.

His current research focuses on the synthesis multinuclear supramolecular architectures, comprising of lanthanide ions, for drug encapsulation, delivery and bio imaging.

Dan enjoys playing PokemonGo, eating plastic cheese sandwiches and  5 packs of doughnuts from Morrisons.

Daniel Bell

PhD Student

Rebecca Andrews

PhD Student

Rebecca completed her MChem degree at the University of Huddersfield, spending her fourth year preparing self-assembled supramolecular hosts to sequester anions from aqueous solutions.

Her PhD is focused on biomolecule encapsulation within metal-organic materials. 

Rebecca is from Bradford and enjoys drinking Yorkshire tea, watching period dramas and taking her French bulldog on canal walks. 

Luyi Xu

PGT Student

Luyi completed her bachelors degree in Zhejiang, China, where she studied applied chemistry. She is now working towards her master's degree at Manchester.

Luyi enjoys cooking Chinese food and having a simple cocktail before bed.

Dr Maria Lizio


Maria completed her undergraduate degree in Italy (Naples) before moving to Manchester for her PhD working under the supervision of Prof Simon J. Webb. Her PhD focused on understanding the interaction of antimicrobial peptides with lipid vesicles using a combination of chiral and achiral spectroscopy techniques. In the last two years, she worked with Prof Ioan Notingher at the University of Nottingham towards building a device for intraoperative assessment of breast cancer margin using Raman spectroscopy and Total Internal Reflection.


At Manchester, Maria's research is focused on studying the encapsulation and stabilisation of proteins within supramolecular structures focusing on understanding the encapsulated species behaviour within the structures.


In her spare time Maria enjoys hyper realistic drawings, travel and watching k-drama.

Current Members

Imogen's previous work

Imogen completed her postdoctoral research in the group of Professor Stephen J. Lippard at MIT and graduate studies with Professor Jonathan R. Nitschke at the University of Cambridge.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019

Self‐Assembly of Functional Discrete Three‐Dimensional Architectures in Water

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018

Glutathione-Scavenging Poly(disulfide amide) Nanoparticles for the Effective Delivery of Pt(IV) Prodrugs and Reversal of Cisplatin Resistance

Nano Lett. 2018

The effect of geometric isomerism on the anticancer activity of the monofunctional platinum complex trans-[Pt(NH₃)₂(phenanthridine)Cl]NO₃

Chem. Commun. 2018

in Metallo-Drugs: Development and Action of Anticancer Agents, Metal Ions in Life Sciences 18, De Gruyter

Blockable Zn₁₀L₁₅ ion channels via subcomponent self-assembly

Angew. Chem.Int. Ed. 2017

Repair shielding of platinum-DNA lesions in testicular germ cell tumors by high-mobility group box protein 4 imparts cisplatin hypersensitivity

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2017

Phenanthriplatin Acts As a Covalent Poison of Topoisomerase II Cleavage Complexes

ACS Chem. Biol. 2016

Nucleotide Binding Preference of the Monofunctional Platinum Anticancer-Agent Phenanthriplatin

Chem. Eur. J. 2016

Tobacco Mosaic Virus Delivery of Phenanthriplatin for Cancer Therapy

ACS Nano 2016

Mutual stabilisation between Mᴵᴵ₄L₆ tetrahedra and MᴵᴵX₄²⁻ metallate guests

Chem. Sci. 2015

Cation-and anion-exchanges induce multiple distinct rearrangements within metallosupramolecular architectures

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014

Building on architectural principles for three-dimensional metallosupramolecular construction

Chem. Soc. Rev. (tutorial review) 2013

Five discrete multinuclear metal-organic assemblies from one ligand: deciphering the effects of different templates

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013

Anion-induced reconstitution of a self-assembling system to express a chloride-binding Co₁₀L₁₅ pentagonal prism

Nat. Chem. 2012

Encapsulation, storage and controlled release of sulfur hexafluoride from a metal–organic capsule

Chem. Commun. 2011




Want to join the Riddell group?

Check out the positions available in our lab as we continue to grow and pursue new projects.

Applications from self-funded or sponsored PhD students or PDRAs interested in applying for Fellowships are welcome.


Thanks for your interest in our research. Get in touch with us for any questions or comments regarding our work and publications. We’d love to hear from you.



School of Chemistry (rm 4.02j),
University of Manchester,
Oxford Road, M13 9PL


0161 3064516

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