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Professor Dek Woolfson


The primary basic research interest of the group is the informational aspect of the protein-folding problem; that is, how does the sequence of a protein determine its active, three-dimensional structure or fold? We tackle this problem using the following multi-disciplinary approach: 1. We use bioinformatics methods to garner sequence-to-structure relationships from protein sequence and structural databases. 2. We test the rules that we find using protein design, either through engineering natural protein structures, or by designing new sequences and structures completely from scratch (so called de novo design). 3. We then test our engineered and design proteins experimentally using biophysical methods. We make our designed and engineered peptides and proteins either by peptide synthesis or molecular biology methods. The products and then characterised using methods including spectroscopy and microscopy. 4. Finally, we explore potential applications of some the engineered and designed proteins in the burgeoning area of bionanotechnology.

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Key words

  • bionanotechnology
  • protein design
  • protein-folding problem
  • protein
  • bioinformatics
  • protein sequence
  • protein design