Synthetic biology: design, construction and characterisation of artificial motor proteins

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The revolution in structural and molecular biology has shown how nature produces molecular machines that operate with extreme precision and efficiency. Synthetic biology seeks to learn from nature to design and build new molecular machines using the principles learned via structural and biophysical analysis. This project will focus on bridging the disciplines of molecular biology and nanotechnology. It will utilise biological components, e.g., protein and DNA, to construct artificial nanoscopic machines that move autonomously, gather data from the local environment and interface with electronic and photonic detectors for applications ranging from medical diagnostics to novel information processing strategies.

The ideal candidate will be imaginative and adventurous. They will be willing to undertake an ambitious high risk-high gain project, where the goal will be difficult to attain but the impact will be extremely high. As the project is interdisciplinary, the ideal candidate will have a strong foundation in an area of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology or single molecule science. The ideal candidate will be curious to understand living systems at a molecular level with a passion for understanding the basic physical principles underlying natural phenomena. They will be a practical person, who will lead the experimental project to build and characterise artificial molecular motor proteins at a single molecule level. They will be able to grasp the theoretical principles for motor design and implement these in the synthetic motors. The project will work within the framework of an international consortium for artificial protein machines. The candidate will thrive in an international environment, working will colleagues in Europe and North America. Finally, they will be excited to be a pioneer in a new area of synthetic biology where the discoveries will lead to new areas of science and technology.

Supervisory team
Paul
Curmi

Science
Physics
Till
Böcking

Medicine
Medical Sciences
Lawrence
Lee

Medicine
Medical Sciences
p.curmi@unsw.edu.au