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Details for Professor Dek Woolfson

Personal details
Name Professor Dek Woolfson
Job title Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Department School of Chemistry University of Bristol
Personal web page
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
Qualifications BA(Oxon), PhD(Cantab)
Professional details
Keywords bionanotechnology
protein design
protein-folding problem
protein sequence
protein design
Areas of expertise The primary basic research interest of the group is the informational aspect of the protein-folding problem; that is, how does the sequence of a protein determine its active, three-dimensional structure or fold?

We tackle this problem using the following multi-disciplinary approach:

1. We use bioinformatics methods to garner sequence-to-structure relationships from protein sequence and structural databases.

2. We test the rules that we find using protein design, either through engineering natural protein structures, or by designing new sequences and structures completely from scratch (so called de novo design).

3. We then test our engineered and design proteins experimentally using biophysical methods. We make our designed and engineered peptides and proteins either by peptide synthesis or molecular biology methods. The products and then characterised using methods including spectroscopy and microscopy.

4. Finally, we explore potential applications of some the engineered and designed proteins in the burgeoning area of bionanotechnology.