Portrait of Dr Fraser Scott Dr Fraser Scott

f.scott@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473694



Fraser obtained an MSci(Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde in 2009, which was followed by a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Colin J. Suckling OBE, at the same institution awarded in 2012. His doctoral studies spanned computational and synthetic medicinal chemistry, and microbiology, focussed on developing Minor Groove Binders as novel anti-infective agents. During this time, Fraser also obtained a BA(Hons) in Mathematics and Statistics, and a BSc(Hons) in Computing with Mathematical Sciences, with the Open University.

Following the completion of his doctorate in 2012, Fraser obtained a PGDE in Chemistry and an MEd in Education studies whilst embarking on a short career in Secondary School education in Scotland. In 2014 he returned to the research group of Prof. Colin J. Suckling OBE at the University of Strathclyde to take up a Post-Doctoral position that included project managing the, now commercial, Minor Grove Binder drug discovery project, alongside medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and microbiology investigations. During this time, Fraser also completed an MSc in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and was employed as an associate lecturer in Mathematics by the Open University.

In 2016, Fraser took up a position as a Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Lincoln, before moving to his current position as Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Huddersfield.

Research and Scholarship

My scientific research is centred principally on the Minor Grove Binder (MGB) class of compound as novel anti-infective and anti-cancer agents. Our MGBs are synthetic amide-linked polypyrroles, derived from the natural product distamycin, that specifically, and reversibly, bind to the minor groove of DNA. They recognise specific base sequences with high selectivity and achieve efficacy by interfering with transcription factors and altering gene expression.

The MGB Research Group, a cross-institution partnership between the Universities of Huddersfield and Strathclyde, has applied innovative medicinal chemistry, microbiology and chemical biology to the field of MGBs to develop a novel platform for drug discovery with the potential to treat bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections including drug resistant pathogens. At present, we are particularly focussed on developing compounds to treat infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, A. fumigatus and Candida infections, and animal African trypanosomiasis.

I am also active in the field of education research, where my principal interest lies broadly in the overlap of mathematics and numeracy with science education.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Scott, F., Nichol, R., Khalaf, A., Giordani, F., Gillingwater, K., Ramu, S., Elliott, A., Zuegg, J., Duffy, P., Rosslee, M., Hlaka, L., Kumar, S., Ozturk, M., Brombacher, F., Barrett, M., Guler, R. and Suckling, C. (2017) ‘An evaluation of Minor Groove Binders as anti-fungal and anti-mycobacterial therapeuticsEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry , 136, pp. 561-572. ISSN 0223-5234

Scott, F (2017) ‘Evaluation of Minor Groove Binders (MGBs) as novel anti-mycobacterial agents, and the effect of using non-ionic surfactant vesicles as a delivery system to improve their efficacyJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy . ISSN 0305-7453

Scott, F (2017) ‘A Simulated peer-assessment approach to improve students’ performance in numerical problem-solving questions in high school biologyJournal of Biological Education , 51 (2), pp. 107-122. ISSN 0021-9266

Kennedy, A., Khalaf, A., Scott, F. and Suckling, C. (2017) ‘Four pyrrole derivatives used as building blocks in the synthesis of minor-groove bindersActa Crystallographica Section E Crystallographic Communications , 73 (2), pp. 254-259. ISSN 2056-9890


Scott, F., Puig-Sellart, M., Khalaf, A., Henderson, C., Westrop, G., Watson, D., Carter, K., Grant, M. and Suckling, C. (2016) ‘An evaluation of Minor Groove Binders as anti-lung cancer therapeuticsBioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters , 26 (15), pp. 3478-3486. ISSN 0960-894X

Scott, F., Khalaf, A., Duffy, S., Avery, V. and Suckling, C. (2016) ‘Selective anti-malarial minor groove bindersBioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters , 26 (14), pp. 3326-3329. ISSN 0960-894X

Scott, F., Khalaf, A., Giordani, F., Wong, P., Duffy, S., Barrett, M., Avery, V. and Suckling, C. (2016) ‘An evaluation of Minor Groove Binders as anti- Trypanosoma brucei brucei therapeuticsEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry , 116, pp. 116-125. ISSN 0223-5234

Scott, F (2016) ‘An investigation into students’ difficulties in numerical problem solving questions in high school biology using a numeracy frameworkEuropean Journal of Science and Mathematics Education , 4 (2), pp. 115-128. ISSN 2301-251X


Kennedy, A., Khalaf, A., Scott, F. and Suckling, C. (2015) ‘Crystal structure of N,N-dimethyl-2-[(4-methylbenzyl)sulfonyl]ethanamineActa Crystallographica Section E Crystallographic Communications , 71 (7), pp. 757-759. ISSN 2056-9890


L´┐Żnse, C., Scott, F., Suckling, C. and Mayer, G. (2014) ‘Novel TPP-riboswitch activators bypass metabolic enzyme dependencyFrontiers in Chemistry , 2. ISSN 2296-2646

Scott, F (2014) ‘A simulated peer-assessment approach to improving student performance in chemical calculationsChemistry Education Research and Practice , 15 (4), pp. 568-575. ISSN 1756-1108


Al-Riyami, L., Pineda, M., Rzepecka, J., Huggan, J., Khalaf, A., Suckling, C., Scott, F., Rodgers, D., Harnett, M. and Harnett, W. (2013) ‘Designing Anti-inflammatory Drugs from Parasitic Worms: A Synthetic Small Molecule Analogue of theAcanthocheilonema viteaeProduct ES-62 Prevents Development of Collagen-Induced ArthritisJournal of Medicinal Chemistry , 56 (24), pp. 9982-10002. ISSN 0022-2623

Parkinson, J., Scott, F., Suckling, C. and Wilson, G. (2013) ‘Exceptionally strong intermolecular association in hydrophobic DNA minor groove binders and their potential therapeutic consequencesMedChemComm , 4 (7), p. 1105. ISSN 2040-2503


Khalaf, A., Bourdin, C., Breen, D., Donoghue, G., Scott, F., Suckling, C., MacMillan, D., Clements, C., Fox, K. and Sekibo, D. (2012) ‘Design, synthesis and antibacterial activity of minor groove binders: The role of non-cationic tail groupsEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry , 56, pp. 39-47. ISSN 0223-5234

Scott, F (2012) ‘Is mathematics to blame? An investigation into high school students' difficulty in performing calculations in chemistryChemistry Education Research and Practice , 13 (3), pp. 330-336. ISSN 1756-1108


Khalaf, A., Anthony, N., Breen, D., Donoghue, G., Mackay, S., Scott, F. and Suckling, C. (2011) ‘Amide isosteres in structure-activity studies of antibacterial minor groove bindersEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry , 46 (11), pp. 5343-5355. ISSN 0223-5234