Biophysics of protein aggregation
Professor Dr. Tuomas Knowles, University of Cambridge, UK
This talk describes our efforts to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of protein aggregation as well as the kinetics of this process and how these features connect to the biological roles that these structures can have in both health and disease. A particular focus will be on the development and use of tools and concepts from physical chemistry, in particular chemical reaction kinetics, to discover molecular assembly pathways in amyloid formation. Moreover I will discuss the development of new microfluidics approaches to study heterogeneous protein self-assembly and their application to explore the molecular determinants of amyloid formation from peptides and proteins.
Tuomas Knowles holds a personal Professorship in the Department of Chemistry and at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and is also a Fellow of St John’s College Cambridge. His current research interests are focused on using physical approaches to study the self-assembly of protein molecules both in the context of biological function and malfunction.
He received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Cambridge, and has held positions in Engineering in Cambridge University and Harvard University before returning to Cambridge as a University Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in 2010, Reader in 2013 and then Professor in 2015. Tuomas Knowles has received a number of distinguished awards, including the Corday-Morgan Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics. He has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles.