Professor Elwyn Isaac


Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 1977-1983. Visiting Scientist in the Department of Entomolgy, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, 1991 and at the Department d'Etudes et d'Ingéniérie des Protéins, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, CE-Saclay, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France, 1998-1999. Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, UK, 2000-2003.

Posts held

1977-1983. Senior research assistant in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Liverpool under the direction of Professors H.H.Rees and T.W.Goodwin.  The work involved chemical characterisation of novel ecdysteroids (moulting hormone) in insects and their biosynthetic pathways and fate during insect development.1983-1992. Lecturer in the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds. 1992-1995. Senior Lecturer in Applied Zoology in the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds.1995-2002 Reader in Invertebrate Neuroendocrinology in the School of Biology, University of Leeds.Present position- Professor of Comparative Biochemistry, University of Leeds



  • Project modules manager

Research interests

Comparative biochemistry and functional genomics of neuropeptides and peptidases.

Our research exploits the amenable genetics and the sequenced genomes of the nematode, Caenorhabditis. elegans, and the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to understand biochemical mechanisms of behaviour, development and reproduction. We are particularly interested in the role of neuropeptides and peptidases in controlling the behaviour and sex-life of insects and in understanding the various physiological roles of members of metallopeptidase gene families in invertebrates. We are also interested in the development of novel 'green' strategies to control insect pests by identifying target proteins for inhibitors and vaccines. To this end there is close collaboration with colleagues at FERA Science, York, U.K.; Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology, S. Korea; USDA, College Station Texas, U.S.A.

We are also developing with colleagues in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at Leeds new methods for the safe and environmentally friendly delivery of biological insecticides to control both crop pests and vectors of disease, such  as mosquitoes. This approach includes the stabilisation and effective delivery of  double-stranded RNA to interfere selectively with the expression of genes critical to the survival of the pest,  but harmless to beneficial insects. In addition we work closely with synthetic chemists and structural biologists in the Department of Chemistry at Leeds and Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath to rationally design enzyme inhibitors for selective inhibition of metallopeptidases.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc, PhD 1978, Wales.

Student education

Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Structure and function of peptide hormones in Drosophila
  • Novel insecticide and nematicide targets

See also:

Modules managed

BLGY2253 - Animals as Pests
BLGY3395 - Advanced Research Skills and Experience

Modules taught

BIOL5294M - MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal
BIOL5392M - Bioscience MSc Research Project
BLGY2100/2301 - Level 2 Tutorials
BLGY2253 - Animals as Pests
BLGY3345/95 - BLGY projects

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>