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Professor Tuomas Knowles

Portrait of tpjk2

We study the physical and chemical aspects of the behaviour of biopolymers and other soft systems. Much of our work has been focused on the physical aspects underlying the self-assembly of protein molecules. Self-organisation is the driving force generating complex matter in nature, and the process by which the machinery providing functionality in living systems is assembled. The goal of our research is to understand the physical and chemical factors which control the structures and dynamics of biomolecular assemblies, and the connections between the nanoscale characteristics of the component molecules and the physical properties of large-scale assemblies and their behaviour on a mesoscopic to macroscopic scale. The techniques used in our laboratory include biosensors, optical lithography, microfluidic devices and scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy. We work both with natural and synthetic polymers and our interests range from fundamental chemical physics to technological applications in material science and molecular medicine.

Selected publications

An analytical solution to the kinetics of breakable filament assembly, Science, 326, 1533 (2009)

Role of intermolecular forces in defining material properties of protein nanofibrils, Science 318, 1900 (2007)

Publications

Phage display and kinetic selection of antibodies that specifically inhibit amyloid self-replication.
A Munke, J Persson, T Weiffert, E De Genst, G Meisl, P Arosio, A Carnerup, CM Dobson, M Vendruscolo, TPJ Knowles, S Linse
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
(2017)
Ultrasensitive Measurement of Ca<sup>2+</sup> Influx into Lipid Vesicles Induced by Protein Aggregates
P Flagmeier, S De, DC Wirthensohn, SF Lee, C Vincke, S Muyldermans, TPJ Knowles, S Gandhi, CM Dobson, D Klenerman
– Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
(2017)
Intra-chain organisation of hydrophobic residues controls inter-chain aggregation rates of amphiphilic polymers.
P Varilly, AP Willard, JB Kirkegaard, TPJ Knowles, D Chandler
– The Journal of chemical physics
(2017)
146,
135102
A natural product inhibits the initiation of alpha-synuclein aggregation and suppresses its toxicity (vol 114, pg E1009, 2017)
M Perni, C Galvagnion, A Maltsev, G Meisl, MBD Mueller, PK Challa, JB Kirkegaard, P Flagmeier, SIA Cohen, R Cascella, SW Chen, R Limboker, P Sormanni, GT Heller, FA Aprile, N Cremades, C Cecchi, F Chiti, EAA Nollen, TPJ Knowles, M Vendruscolo, A Bax, M Zasloff, CM Dobson
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(2017)
114,
E2543
Exciton Coupling of Phenylalanine Reveals Conformational Changes of Cationic Peptides
C Bortolini, L Liu, SV Hoffmann, NC Jones, TPJ Knowles, M Dong
– ChemistrySelect
(2017)
2,
2476
Acceleration of alpha-synuclein aggregation
R Gaspar, G Meisl, AK Buell, L Young, CF Kaminski, TPJ Knowles, E Sparr, S Linse
– Amyloid : the international journal of experimental and clinical investigation : the official journal of the International Society of Amyloidosis
(2017)
24,
20
Inhibition of alpha-Synuclein Fibril Elongation by Hsp70 Is Governed by a Kinetic Binding Competition between alpha-Synuclein Species
FA Aprile, P Arosio, G Fusco, SW Chen, JR Kumita, A Dhulesia, P Tortora, TPJ Knowles, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson, N Cremades
– Biochemistry
(2017)
56,
1177
Physical principles of filamentous protein self-assembly kinetics.
TCT Michaels, LX Liu, G Meisl, TPJ Knowles
– Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
(2017)
29,
153002
A natural product inhibits the initiation of α-synuclein aggregation and suppresses its toxicity
M Perni, C Galvagnion, A Maltsev, G Meisl, MBD Müller, PK Challa, JB Kirkegaard, P Flagmeier, SIA Cohen, R Cascella, SW Chen, R Limboker, P Sormanni, GT Heller, FA Aprile, N Cremades, C Cecchi, F Chiti, EAA Nollen, TPJ Knowles, M Vendruscolo, A Bax, M Zasloff, CM Dobson
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
(2017)
114,
E1009
Secondary nucleation of monomers on fibril surface dominates alpha-synuclein aggregation and provides autocatalytic amyloid amplification
R Gaspar, G Meisl, AK Buell, L Young, CF Kaminski, TPJ Knowles, E Sparr, S Linse
– Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics
(2017)
50,
UNSP e6
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336344

Email address

tpjk2@cam.ac.uk