Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

School of Science and the Environment

Biological Sciences

Contact Details

email: a.cherry@worc.ac.uk

Dr Amy Cherry is a protein biochemist. Her research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease. Her PhD was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and investigated the molecular mechanism of Hepatitis C virus replication and possible inhibition strategies which can be used in drug development. Following this, Amy was awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the Medical Research Council to study proteins involved in DNA repair at the National Institute of Medical Research. She then moved to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm where she studied molecular details of the Hedgehog signalling pathway. Whilst there, she co-founded GliGene AB, a biotechnology company whose aim is to develop anti-cancer agents targeting the Hedgehog signalling pathway. She is currently continuing research into the role of the Hedgehog signalling pathway in Leukaemia.

As well as her passion for Biochemistry, Dr Cherry has a strong interest in teaching. Following her PhD, she worked for the charity RIPPLE Africa teaching primary school mathematics and secondary school biology to children in Malawi, and whilst there she developed and taught a science course to secondary school teachers.

Since joining the University of Worcester, Amy has developed two new modules; BIOS 2111 Protein Structure and Function and BIOS3115 Metabolic Biochemistry. Her interactive teaching methods were officially recognised by students who awarded her with a student led teaching award in Outstanding Innovative Teaching Methods.


  • PGCert. in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Worcester (2015)
  • PhD Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Leeds (2005)
  • MRes Biomolecular Science, University of York (2000)
  • BSc Medical Biochemistry, University of Birmingham (1999)

Undergraduate teaching

First Year

  • BIOL1001 Cell Biology (30 credit)

Second Year

  • BIOS2111 Protein Structure and Function (15 credit)
  • BIOS2200 Project and Career Development (30 credit)

Third Year

  • BIOS3115 Metabolic Biochemistry (15 credit)
  • BIOS3106 Pharmacology (15 credit)


Amy is a structural biologist using techniques such as X-ray Crystallography, Nuclear Magnetic resonance and Small-Angle X-ray Scattering to understand how proteins work at the molecular level. The information from these types of studies can help us to understand the molecular basis of disease and guide us in drug development.

Amy has used X-ray crystallography, enzymatic analysis and cell-based assays to show how the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the Hepatitis C virus begins replication of its genome correctly. She has investigated how DNA repair proteins are directed to the sites of DNA breakage and, more recently, has elucidated the molecular basis of regulation of the Hedgehog signalling pathway which is overactive in many forms of cancer.

Since joining the University of Worcester, Amy has continued her research into the Hedgehog signalling pathway, specifically focussing on its role in Leukaemia.


Journal articles

Cherry, AL, Nott, TJ, Kelly, G, Rulten, SL, Caldecott, K, Smerdon, SJ: Versatility in phospho-dependent molecular recognition of the XRCC1 and XRCC4 DNA-damage scaffolds by aprataxin-family FHA domains. DNA Repair 35, 116-125.

Cherry AL, Dennis CA, Baron A, Eisele LE, Thommes PA, Jaeger J: Hydrophobic and charged residues in the C-terminal arm of Hepatitis C virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase regulate initiation and elongation. J Virol. 2015,89(4), 2052-63.

Cherry AL, C Finta, M Karlström, Q Jin, T Schwend, J Astorga-Wells, R A Zubarev, M Del Campo, A R Criswell, L Jovine, R Toftgård: Structural basis of GLI binding and regulation by tumor suppressor SUFU. Acta Cryst. D2013,69(12):2563-79.

Toftgård R, C Finta, A Cherry, A Fullgrabe, M Kasper, L Jovine: Hedgehog signalling and cancer initiation. FEBS J. 2012,279, 26-26.

Han, L, M Monne, H Okumura, T Schwend, AL Cherry, D Flot, T Matsuda, L Jovine: Insights into egg coat assembly and egg-sperm interaction from the X-ray structure of full-length ZP3.Cell2010,143,404-415.

Becherel, OJ*, B Jakob*, AL Cherry*, N Gueven, M Fusser, AW Kijas, C Peng, S Katyal, PJ McKinnon, J Che, Epe B, Smerdon SJ, Taucher-Scholz G, Lavin MF: CK2 phosphorylation-dependent interaction between aprataxin and MDC1 in the DNA damage response.Nucleic Acids Res2010,38, 1489-1503.

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Professional bodies and committees

  • Member of the Genetically Modified Organisms Committee
  • Founding Member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group
  • Institute Joint Honours Lead
  • Member of the Worcester University Athena SWAN committee
  • Member of the Biochemical Society