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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Portrait of tpjk2

Our research

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.

Watch Professor Knowles discuss his research

Take a tour of the Sir Rodney Sweetnam laboratory


Liquid–liquid phase separation underpins the formation of replication factories in rotaviruses
F Geiger, J Acker, G Papa, X Wang, WE Arter, KL Saar, NA Erkamp, R Qi, JP Bravo, S Strauss, G Krainer, OR Burrone, R Jungmann, TP Knowles, H Engelke, A Borodavka
– The EMBO journal
Deformable and Robust Core–Shell Protein Microcapsules Templated by Liquid–Liquid Phase-Separated Microdroplets
Y Xu, Y Shen, TCT Michaels, KN Baumann, D Vigolo, Q Peter, Y Lu, KL Saar, D Vella, H Zhu, B Li, H Yang, APM Guttenplan, M Rodriguez-Garcia, D Klenerman, TPJ Knowles
– Advanced Materials Interfaces
The binding of the small heat-shock protein αB-crystallin to fibrils of α-synuclein is driven by entropic forces.
T Scheidt, JA Carozza, CC Kolbe, FA Aprile, O Tkachenko, MMJ Bellaiche, G Meisl, QAE Peter, TW Herling, S Ness, M Castellana-Cruz, JLP Benesch, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson, P Arosio, TPJ Knowles
– Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
New Frontiers for Machine Learning in Protein Science
AS Morgunov, K Liis Saar, M Vendruscolo, TPJ Knowles
– Journal of Molecular Biology
Unraveling the Physicochemical Determinants of Protein Liquid-liquid Phase Separation by Nanoscale Infrared Vibrational Spectroscopy.
FS Ruggeri, AM Miller, M Vendruscolo, TPJ Knowles
– Bio-protocol
Feedback control of protein aggregation
AJ Dear, TCT Michaels, TPJ Knowles, L Mahadevan
– The Journal of chemical physics
Conformational Expansion of Tau in Condensates Promotes Irreversible Aggregation
J Wen, L Hong, G Krainer, Q-Q Yao, TPJ Knowles, S Wu, S Perrett
– Journal of the American Chemical Society
Mutations in two SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern reflect two distinct strategies of antibody escape
S Fiedler, V Denninger, A Morgunov, A Ilsley, R Worth, G Meisl, C Xu, M Piziorska, F Ricci, A Malik, S Devenish, M Schneider, V Kosmoliaptsis, A Aguzzi, A Iwasaki, H Fiegler, T Knowles
LAG3 is not expressed in human and murine neurons and does not modulate alpha-synucleinopathies
M Emmenegger, E De Cecco, M Hruska-Plochan, T Eninger, MM Schneider, M Barth, E Tantardini, P de Rossi, M Bacioglu, RG Langston, A Kaganovich, N Bengoa-Vergniory, A Gonzalez-Guerra, M Avar, D Heinzer, R Reimann, LM Häsler, TW Herling, NS Matharu, N Landeck, K Luk, R Melki, PJ Kahle, S Hornemann, TPJ Knowles, MR Cookson, M Polymenidou, M Jucker, A Aguzzi
– EMBO Mol Med
Understanding the role of memory re-activation and cross-reactivity in the defense against SARS-CoV-2
V Denninger, C Xu, G Meisl, A Morgunov, S Fiedler, A Ilsley, M Emmenegger, A Malik, M Piziorska, M Schneider, S Devenish, V Kosmoliaptsis, A Aguzzi, H Fiegler, T Knowles
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Research Interest Groups

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01223 336344

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