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BBSRC funding for research into molecular motors, CRISPR-Cas enzymes and synthetic gene circuits

Professor Nigel Savery

Dr Mark Dodding

Press release issued: 10 October 2018

The School of Biochemistry has been awarded three BBSRC grants worth a combined total of over £1.5 million

Dr. Mark Dodding, together with his collaborator Professor Roberto Steiner at King’s College London was awarded £695,413 (£360,091 to Bristol) to determine the "Mechanistic basis for co-operativity in kinesin-1/cargo recognition". This 3-year project will combine cell biology with chemical and structural biology to explore and control the complex networks of interactions that allow this crucial cytoskeletal motor protein to mediate transport within cells. 

Professor Mark Szczelkun was awarded £471,014 to produce a "Mechanistic framework for DNA recognition and cleavage by Type V CRISPR-Cas effector nuclease". This 3-year project will use single molecule microscopy and biophysical assays to better understand the "molecular scissors" activity of the gene editing enzyme Cas12a, which is an alternative to the more commonly-used Cas9 protein. 

Professor Nigel Savery and Professor Dek Woolfson, Director of the Bristol BioDesign Institute, were awarded £720,545 for the "Design and in vivo assembly of switchable protein-protein interactions for transcription regulation". In collaboration with MedImmune and AstraZeneca, this 4-year project aims to build de novo transcription factors for both bacterial and mammalian cell biology that can be switched on and off using small-molecule drugs.

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