Molecular Biophysicist and Biochemist
I am a Lecturer and Resarch Scientist in the School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, UK.
I have a laboratory fitted out with high-end spectrophotometers including stopped-flow and laser flash, with HPLC, UHPLC, plate readers, incubators, fermentor and other research equipment.
Applications for PhDs and MSDs (research-based MSc) are welcome), please click here for futher detais.
Current and previous lab members, left to right: Dr Elizabeth Welbourn (technician), Prof Mike Wilson (Emeritus Prof), Alex Harper (MSD student), Max Skinner (MSD student), Dr Brandon Reeder (Lab leader), John Ukeri (PhD student), Jacob Pullin ( PhD student photo-bombing from another lab!) Hana Abbara (PhD student), Dr Sinan Battah (visiting scientist).
Engineering a new generation of artifical hemoglobin-based blood substitutes or oxygen carrier. We are using molecular engineering to incorperate through protein electron transfer pathways to enable the bodies own antioxidants to detoxify this vital of oxygen carrying proteins. In addition we are looking at new ways to homogeneously PEGylate the protein without discruption of hemoglobin's cooperative oxygen binding nature.
Cytoglobin, Neuroglobin and Androglobin
Did you know humans have 5 different types of hemoglobin? Other the the red blood cell hemoglobin and the muscle's myoglobin, there are 3 new members of this family:
Neuroglobin, found mainly in brain tissue, this protein may have links to protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
Cytoglobin, found in almost all tissues, this protein may pretect some cancer cells against chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Androglobin, a unique new hemoglobin found in lungs and testes and may have links to spermatogenesis. Our lab is investigating the structure and function of this novel protein.
Preventing Acute Kidney Dysfunction related to Rhabdomyolysis
Damage to muscle (rhabdomyolysis) e.g. from trauma injuries can lead to kidney failure. Following research into the mechanisms of this damage we are developing compounds known as Polyphenol Dendrimer Conjugate Nanoparticals to target and prevent damage to the kidneys.
Bacterial and Non-symbiotic Plant Hemoglobins
The hemoglobin superfamily is extended to bacteria and plants. Bacterial hemoglobins are generally smaller, truncated globins. However, some are much more like their human counterparts, such as Hell's Gate globin-I from Methylacidiphilum Infernorum. An extrempohile from Hell's Gate hot springs, New Zealand, the hemoglobin from this bacteria is remarkably stable and has simularities to both human Neuroglobin and Cytoglobin.
Plants have two types of hemoglobins; symbiotic and non-symboitic. The latter are sub-divided into 3 classes. At Essex we were the first to discover the structure of the class 3 truncated forms of the protein (from Arabidopsis Thaliana. We are interested in how these proteins are linked to stress signalling.