University of Huddersfield

Carbohydrate Research Group at the University of Huddersfield


The Carbohydrate Research Group ( is an interdisciplinary team whose specialist research areas cover most aspects of carbohydrate chemistry, biology, food and pharmaceutical sciences. The group's research spans the range of carbohydrate-based molecules, including cellulosic materials, development of carbohydrates as new food ingredients, and the use of polysaccharides as active pharmaceutical ingredients, as additives in food, cosmetics and tablet manufacture. The team is working on developing an understanding of the chemical and biology reactivity of polysaccharides.


Prof Andrew Laws: Andy is currently using NMR and mass spectrometry techniques to determine the complex structures of the polysaccharides presented close to or on the surface of bacteria. Whilst much of his work is concerned with probiotic Bifido and Lactobacillus strains of bacteria, he also works with pathogenic organisms that are of interest to the food industry including Campylobacter. The labs are well equipped to determine the structures and the properties of polysaccharides and several techniques are available including HPAEC-PAD, GC-MS, SEC-MALLS, NMR and LC-MS.


Dr Gordon Morris: The focus of Gordon’s work is the characterisation of polysaccharides for use in drug delivery systems and for use as therapeutic agents; either as an active ingredient or as an excipient for use within the formulation of active ingredients. Gordon uses many of the same techniques as Prof Laws but is also one of the few people in the UK with a specialist knowledge of ultracentrifugation and sedimentation techniques and their use to study the interaction between different classes of polysaccharides and between polysaccharides and proteins.


Dr Vasillis Kontogiorgos: Vasillis is a food scientist who specialises in looking at the macromolecular interactions between food based polysaccharides and proteins. Vassillis is particularly interested in the phase behaviour of -glucan/sodium caseinate mixtures: he undertakes rheological studies of biopolymer mixtures to provide an understanding of how the interaction between food biopolymers influences the texture and functionality of foods.


Dr Paul Humphreys: Paul is a microbiologist; a specific focus of his work is related to how microorganisms can be used to degrade cellulose degradation products. Cellulose degradation products are generated during the storage of cellulosic waste materials in alkaline environments; they have the potential to solubilise metals and can contribute to their being leached from waste sites. Paul previously worked in the nuclear research field and much of the focus of his work is directed at developing models to simulate the potential effects of microbial growth on the safety of waste disposal sites.


Pharmaceutical Sciences Research (

Dr Alan Smith: Alan’s research work focuses on pharmaceutical and medical applications of biopolymers e.g. gellan. He is particularly interested in environmentally sustainable medicines, channelled hydrogel structures for the development of complex tissues, rheological behaviour of physiologically responsive biopolymers and fluid gels as modified release liquids.


Prof Barbara Conway: Barbara is Head of Pharmacy and her on-going research programmes focus on chrontherapeutic delivery and delivery of antimicrobials, novel excipients for drug delivery, and the mechanical properties of pharmaceuticals.

Dr Kofi Asare-Addo: Kofi is a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics and his research is specifically focused on the development of an in-vitro testing methods to investigate drug release from hypromellose matrix tablets.


Chemical Engineering

Prof Grant Campbell: Grant is a chemical engineer who works in cereal process engineering for food and non-food uses. Arabinoxylans are potentially a high value co-product from the low value bran component of cereals that could be produced alongside ethanol in an integrated cereal-based biorefinery. Grant is investigating integrated extraction of arabinoxylans from cereals to produce a new class of functional food ingredients.

Dr Chenyu Du: Chenyu is a Reader in Chemical Engineering. His area of expertise include lignocellulosic raw material pre-treatment for the production of polysaccharides or monosaccharides; fungal fermentation for cellulase, amylase and protease synthesis, bacteria/yeast screening, genetic modification and fermentation for bioethanol and biochemicals; and conversion of municipal solid waste into biofuels.