Linlin Zhang has been awarded the Newton International Fellowship (NIF)

It is our great pleasure to share that Linlin Zhang from the Struwe Group has been awarded the Newton International Fellowship (NIF). 

Linlin's research focuses on understanding how glycans influence the structural dynamics and interactions of viral spike proteins. Specifically, I work on viruses that pose the greatest threat to global health – Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg (MARV). 

Linlin obtained her PhD degree in the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lübeck. Afterwards, she remained at Lübeck as a postdoc and was promoted to project leader focusing on development of broad-spectrum antivirals and the identification of protein drug targets of (re)emerging viruses (e.g. coronaviruses, enteroviruses, flaviviruses) based on structural biology via X-ray crystallography. 

Prior to joining Struwe group, she worked as a technical specialist of Sino Biological Europe GmbH, a leading manufacture for recombinant proteins and antibodies, where she provided technical support of catalogue products and CRO services of recombinant protein production and antibody development for clients from biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.

About her new fellowship, Linlin said:

I am very excited and honoured to be one of this year's NIF recipients. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the NIF committee for awarding me and my host supervisor Dr.Weston Struwe for his generosity and willingness to help me, as well as all the appreciated help from colleagues in the University. Thanks to NIF, I am able to continue my research in the Department of Chemistry, and the fellowship provides the freedom and space to explore my research interests. I am always fascinated by antiviral development and viral infection mechanism. Research in Dr. Struwe’s group focuses on understanding the role of glycosylation in viral infection, immune recognition and signalling – a field that is complementary to my previous structural biology work on viruses. Through the Fellowship at Oxford, I will learn new methods and aspects of virus structural biology (i.e. mass spectrometry and glycobiology) and I will also benefit from close mentorship from Dr.Struweand his team. By learning advanced mass spectrometry and mass photometry methods applied to virus glycoproteins, I will emerge from my Fellowship as a highly skilled scientist who has generated impactful research and demonstrated independence, which will make me a competitive candidate for future faculty and/or fellowship applications. NIF opens a new chapter of my research field and my career path.

The Newton International Fellowship Scheme was established in 2008 to select the very best early career postdoctoral researchers from all over the world and enable them to work at UK research institutions for two years. Newton International Fellowships are made available by the Royal Society and British Academy.

Research must be within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics.


Since April 2021, Oxford University's KAVLI Institute for Nanoscience Discovery is proudly serving as a hub for research groups from seven different departments spanning both the medical and physical sciences, including Dr Weston Struwe's group from the Department of Chemistry.

Photo of Linlin in the lab.