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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


Learning the molecular grammar of protein condensates from sequence determinants and embeddings.
KL Saar, AS Morgunov, R Qi, WE Arter, G Krainer, AA Lee, TPJ Knowles
– Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Interactions of alpha-synuclein oligomers with lipid membranes
G Musteikytė, AK Jayaram, CK Xu, M Vendruscolo, G Krainer, TPJ Knowles
– Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes
The role of clearance mechanisms in the kinetics of pathological protein aggregation involved in neurodegenerative diseases.
TB Thompson, G Meisl, TPJ Knowles, A Goriely
– The Journal of Chemical Physics
Scaling analysis reveals the mechanism and rates of prion replication in vivo
G Meisl, T Kurt, I Condado-Morales, C Bett, S Sorce, M Nuvolone, TCT Michaels, D Heinzer, M Avar, SIA Cohen, S Hornemann, A Aguzzi, CM Dobson, CJ Sigurdson, TPJ Knowles
– Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
From Protein Building Blocks to Functional Materials.
Y Shen, A Levin, A Kamada, Z Toprakcioglu, M Rodriguez-Garcia, Y Xu, TPJ Knowles
– ACS nano
Shear-mediated sol-gel transition of regenerated silk allows the formation of Janus-like microgels
Z Toprakcioglu, TPJ Knowles
– Scientific reports
Comparative Studies in the A30P and A53T α-Synuclein C. elegans Strains to Investigate the Molecular Origins of Parkinson's Disease.
M Perni, A van der Goot, R Limbocker, TJ van Ham, FA Aprile, CK Xu, P Flagmeier, K Thijssen, P Sormanni, G Fusco, SW Chen, PK Challa, JB Kirkegaard, RF Laine, KY Ma, MBD Müller, T Sinnige, JR Kumita, SIA Cohen, R Seinstra, GS Kaminski Schierle, CF Kaminski, D Barbut, A De Simone, TPJ Knowles, M Zasloff, EAA Nollen, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson
– Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Kinetic analysis reveals that independent nucleation events determine the progression of polyglutamine aggregation in C. elegans
T Sinnige, G Meisl, TCT Michaels, M Vendruscolo, TPJ Knowles, RI Morimoto
– Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Supramolecular Peptide Nanofibrils with Optimized Sequences and Molecular Structures for Efficient Retroviral Transduction
S Sieste, T Mack, E Lump, M Hayn, D Schütz, A Röcker, C Meier, K Kaygisiz, F Kirchhoff, TPJ Knowles, FS Ruggeri, CV Synatschke, J Münch, T Weil
– Advanced Functional Materials
Reentrant liquid condensate phase of proteins is stabilized by hydrophobic and non-ionic interactions.
G Krainer, TJ Welsh, JA Joseph, JR Espinosa, S Wittmann, E de Csilléry, A Sridhar, Z Toprakcioglu, G Gudiškytė, MA Czekalska, WE Arter, J Guillén-Boixet, TM Franzmann, S Qamar, PS George-Hyslop, AA Hyman, R Collepardo-Guevara, S Alberti, TPJ Knowles
– Nat Commun
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Research Interest Groups

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01223 336344

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