Welcome

Centre for Programmable Biological Matter

Biological nanomachines are fascinating nanoscale devices made from biological molecules, typically proteins, lipids, RNA and DNA. In nature they carry out an amazing array of tasks from copying DNA to converting light into energy. In our lab we are interested in understanding, designing and building natural and artificial bionanomachines. We use a mixture of biochemical, structural andn computational techniques plus the most important ingredient: imagination.

For natural nanomachines, we are particularly interested in  DNA gyrase both because of its fascinating and intricate mechanism but also because it is an important target for development of new antibacterial drugs. We are also building artificial structures from proteins and DNA with the aim of developing Programmable Biological Matter. This describes artificial nanoscale biological material which can be programmed to carry out tasks on demand. This will be useful for new materials and may find significant application in medicine for example in effective vaccines and smart drug delivery systems which may one day be used as disease treatments in particular for age-associated diseases.

 

Research Areas

Natural nanomachines – Heddle Lab

Here we investigate topoisomerases, specifically DNA gyrase, both a fascinating nanomachine and an important target for antibacterial drugs.

Artificial protein nanostructures – Heddle Lab

Here we aim to build new artificial protein nanostructures not found in nature.

DNA nanomachines – Heddle Lab

DNA is not just an information storage molecule it is also a highly programmable structural material that can be easily designed to form useful shapes and even programmable robots.

Protein Design

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RNA Modification – Lin Lab

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Latest Posts

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Bionano 2024

12 & 13 September Durham UniversityMain Lecture Theatre (MCS0001)Mathematics Building About the Workshop We are holding our fifth bi-annual BIONANO Meeting, but this time in the United Kingdom. This follows[…]

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