Sub Reddy is Professor in Analytical and Biomaterials Chemistry and has had a long interest in developing smart materials for small molecule speciation using electrochemical biosensors. More recently, he has specialised in large biomolecule (protein) recognition and has developed synthetic antibody technologies using hydrogel-based molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs). Antibodies are used in diagnostics, from pregnancy testing to diagnosing cancer. While offering high specificity, antibodies are unstable and need to be laboriously harvested from an animal host. Reddy is developing hydrogel-based molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as alternative synthetic, stable and economical antibodies. MIPs comprise ghost-sites capable of binding a protein of interest. MIPs therefore have the real potential to replace antibodies in biological tests. His lead unique and original contributions to science to date have been (1) the first publication of protein crystallisation facilitated by molecularly imprinted polymers; (2) physical characterisation of hydrogel-based molecularly imprinted polymers capable of protein recognition and (3) the signal amplification of quartz crystal based biosensor strategies.
His MIP work has resulted in the submission of a patent application, paper publications and numerous invited talks at international conferences and workshops. Reddy’s recent work in this field as Principal Investigator has been possible due to funding from the EPSRC, The Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation and Thames Water. His current funding is from the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society and British Council. The latter two are with international collaborators in Brazil and India respectively. He has very active International collaborations with Canada (University of Guelph), Japan (AIST, Tsukuba), USA (NCSU), Brazil (University of Sao Paulo) and India (SV University).
He has had recent papers published in PNAS and Biomacromolecules (as a senior corresponding author) and Acta Crystallographica D for his work on using MIPs for the first time as novel and selective nucleants for protein crystallisation and MIP-based protein biosensors. In addition to electrochemical sensing, SMR also has expertise in the development of optical chip-based and quartz crystal-based biosensors for medicine, food and the environment.
His collaborations with USP and NCSU (via the University Global Partnership Network; UGPN) has resulting in a publication in Sensors and Acutators B: Chemical and RSC Advances. The collaborative research describes a method to use MIPs for multi-protein discrimination in the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and also the development of smart colour-changing indicators which can be integrated into food packaging to determine food spoilage. Reddy has won funding from the Royal Society to continue this trilateral collaboration.
Reddy is also a Series co-Editor of a 10 Book Series on Detection Science commissioned by RSC-publishing. He is the Editor of one book in the Series entitled Advanced Synthetic Materials in Detection Science. His UGPN collaborators have contributed chapters.
Reddy has peer reviewed for both national and international grant awarding bodies and journals (in the fields of analytical chemistry and materials science) and given expert commentary in the New Scientist. His research has also been featured in BBC News on-line, Nature Methods, New Scientist and Trends in Analytical Chemistry. He has also been invited multiple times and currently serves as an expert EPSRC Panel Member, since 2006 covering calls in Chemistry, Materials, Crime Prevention and RC/RSC studentships.
He is also involved in the public communication of science and his research through stand-up comedy (Bright Club; 2012;2013) and has also appeared on BBC4’s ‘Some boffins with jokes’ as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe (2013) and Winchester Science Festival 2014!