Single molecule biology and biophysics
Chemical reactivity in a biological context is governed by a number of factors including conformational dynamics, intermolecular interactions, changes in oxidation state, and binding of substrate or inhibitor molecules. Understanding all of these events through studying biomolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, cofactors) as they perform their native functions is key to improving our understanding of processes ranging from RNA splicing and heme sensing, to small molecule activation and catalysis.
Technological improvements continue to cause a revolution in biophysical capability both at the ensemble level and at the level of individual molecules. In Leicester we have expertise in the development of ground-breaking in situ methods, combining a range of spectroscopic techniques with electrochemistry, and enabling spectroscopic imaging and detection of single molecules with (sub) molecular sensitivity. We have particular expertise in heme sensing and quantification, in situ X-ray and infrared spectroscopy, single molecule fluorescence, and single crystal spectroscopy. With a particular emphasis on developing enabling technologies, our research drives scientific progress in chemical and structural biology.