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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

Silk micrococoons for protein stabilisation and molecular encapsulation
U Shimanovich, FS Ruggeri, E De Genst, J Adamcik, TP Barros, D Porter, T Müller, R Mezzenga, CM Dobson, F Vollrath, C Holland, TPJ Knowles
– Nature Communications
(2017)
8,
15902
Monomeric and fibrillar α-synuclein exert opposite effects on the catalytic cycle that promotes the proliferation of Aβ42 aggregates.
S Chia, P Flagmeier, J Habchi, V Lattanzi, S Linse, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles, M Vendruscolo
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
(2017)
114,
201700239
Nanobodies raised against monomeric alpha-synuclein inhibit fibril formation and destabilize toxic oligomeric species
M Iljina, L Hong, MH Horrocks, MH Ludtmann, ML Choi, CD Hughes, FS Ruggeri, T Guilliams, AK Buell, J-E Lee, S Gandhi, SF Lee, CE Bryant, M Vendruscolo, TPJ Knowles, CM Dobson, E De Genst, D Klenerman
– BMC biology
(2017)
15,
57
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)
56,
7750
Selective targeting of primary and secondary nucleation pathways in Aβ42 aggregation using a rational antibody scanning method.
FA Aprile, P Sormanni, M Perni, P Arosio, S Linse, TPJ Knowles, CM Dobson, M Vendruscolo
– Sci Adv
(2017)
3,
e1700488
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)
114,
6444
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
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Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336344

Email address

tpjk2@cam.ac.uk