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Knowles Lab

Biophysics & Biophysical Chemistry

Studying at Cambridge


Research in the Knowles Group

We work on the physico-chemical properties and behaviour of biological molecules and soft materials. The research in the group is highly interdisciplinary. Members of the group have a wide range of backgrounds. We used methods from biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering and physics, and work in close collaboration with other groups in Cambridge and overseas.

Much of our work has been focused on protein self-assembly. We explore the potential of proteins to generate new types of artificial materials formed from natural and renewable building blocks. In addition to functional assembly, we are also interested in understanding aberrant protein self-assembly that underlies neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

The techniques used in our laboratory include biosensors, optical lithography, microfluidic devices and scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy. We also have an interest in applying theoretical concepts from statistical mechanics and chemical kinetics to protein systems.

We work both with natural and synthetic polymers and our interests range from fundamental biophysics to technological applications in materials science and molecular medicine.

We work very collaboratively with colleagues in academia and industry, and we are interested in addressing problems with important technological and societal implications. Research in the group has led to the discovery of novel technologies and start-up companies have emerged from the research.