The Ultrafast Chemical Physics group
In the ultrafast chemical physics group, we are interested in the structure and dynamics of liquids and solutions. We study peptides, proteins, and other biomolecules but consider them as amorphous blobs that behave much like liquids. We are especially interested in phase behaviour such as supercooling of liquids, folding transitions in peptides, nucleation of crystals from solution, and liquid-liquid and liquid-crystalline transitions. These phenomena are studied using femtosecond optical Kerr-effect spectroscopy, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and fluorescence (lifetime) imaging microscopy.
|Dr. Neil Hunt is a Reader in the Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde. Neil is an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow working in the Biomolecular and Chemical Physics group, part of the Nanoscience division. Research in Neil's Multidimensional Spectroscopy Group concentrates on applying ultrafast two dimensional infrared (2D-IR) spectroscopy to the study of biological systems.|
Research in the Kadodwala group has has three themes: (a) spectroscopic investigations of the electronic properties of nanostructured materials on surfaces; (b) the development of new electron-based chirally sensitive spectroscopic techniques; (c) the develop-ment of novel chiroptical spectroscopic probes. Kadodwala currently holds an MRC discipline-hopping grant (Ref. G0902256), which is directly related to this proposal. The “hop” has enabled him to focus entirely on research and acquiring new skills in the life sciences.
The double helix is the iconic form of DNA but this unbranched form is not the active one in vivo. Instead, it is branched DNA molecules that are key intermediates in genetic duplication and repair of DNA damage. Branched DNA is also widely used for nanoscience and nanotechnology in the formation of self-assembled nanostructures. Research in the group of Dr Steven Magennis uses cutting-edge fluorescence tools to reveal unique information about the structure and dynamics of branched DNA at the single-molecule level. Single-molecule techniques reveal details about molecular systems that are obscured by conventional ensemble methods.
Our research provides otherwise inaccessible information on biological processes involving branched DNA, which could lead to potential drug targets and to new design strategies for synthetic biology. It will also lead to the development of the next generation of programmable DNA nanostructures for materials applications and to the creation of new dynamic nanoscale machines and circuits.
|Dr. David McKee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde.|
The computational chemistry and simulations group led by Hans Senn uses combined "molecular mechanics" (MM) and quantum-mechanical (QM) computer simulations to get insight into chemical reactions, in particular catalytic reactions. Combined QM/MM methods describe only the part of the molecule where the reaction is taking place with an expensive QM method and use MM for the remainder. They are especially suited for enzyme reactions, where the reaction is confined to the "active site". Enzymes are involved in virtually all chemical transformations in living organisms and computer simulations provide a detailed picture at the atomic and molecular level of how the catalyst works. One obtains information about the reaction rates and the overall energetics of the processes as well as about the properties of the molecules involved in the reaction, including the catalysts themselves, which helps their identification in experiments.
- Dr. Thorsten Ackemann (Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde)
- Prof. Richard Cogdell FRS, FRSE, FRSA, FSB. (Glasgow University. Hooker Professor of Botany; Director of the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology; Director of the Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre) Research in Professor Richard Cogdell's laboratory is centred around bacterial photosynthesis with work increasingly focused on the early events of photosynthesis in light harvesting and energy transfer. A wide variety of experimental approaches have been used, including protein crystallography, spectroscopy and molecular biology.
- Prof. Maxim Fedorov (Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde)
- Dr. Paul Hoskisson (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences)
- Dr. Malcolm Kadodwala (Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow). Research in the Kadodwala group has has three themes: (a) spectroscopic investigations of the electronic properties of nanostructured materials on surfaces; (b) the development of new electron-based chirally sensitive spectroscopic techniques; (c) the develop-ment of novel chiroptical spectroscopic probes.
- Dr. Nick Tucker (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences)
Selected UCP publications
- M. González-Jiménez, G. Ramakrishnan, T. Harwood, A.J. Lapthorn, S.M. Kelly, E.M. Ellis, and K. Wynne, Observation of coherent delocalised phonon-like modes in DNA under physiological conditions, Nature Commun., 7, 11799 (2016).
- J. Mosses, C.D. Syme, and K. Wynne, ‘The order parameter of liquid-liquid phase transitions’, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 6, 38-43 (2015).
- D.A. Turton, H. Senn, T. Harwood, A. Lapthorn, E. Ellis, and K. Wynne, 'Terahertz underdamped vibrational motion governs protein-ligand binding in solution', Nature Commun. 5, 3999 (2014). (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4999)
- 'The Role of CN and CO Ligands in the Vibrational Relaxation Dynamics of Model Compounds of the [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Enzyme’ Kaziannis, S.; Wright, J. A.; Candalaresi, M.; Kania, R.; Greetham, G. M.; Parker, A. W.; Pickett, C. J.; Hunt, N. T. PhysChemChemPhys 2011, 13, 10295-10305.
- 'Relationship between protein structural fluctuations and rebinding dynamics in ferric haem nitrosyls’ Hunt, N. T.; Greetham, G. M.; Towrie, M.; Parker, A. W.; Tucker, N. P.Biochemical Journal 2011, 433, 459-468.