Self-assembling virus-like particles

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry

Abstract

Nature has evolved proteins that can spontaneously self-assemble to create complex structures such as virus particles and molecular motors. These capsules and molecular machines typically have sizes of 10-100 nm and thus constitute ideal building blocks for nanotechnology. The fields of bionanoscience and synthetic biology are based on the concept that by combining biological building blocks with synthetic molecules it will be possible to construct novel nano-scale objects and machines that can do useful work. The applications of bionanoscience can range from targeted drug/gene delivery for healthcare to making nano-patterned surfaces for molecular electronics. In this project we will develop new strategies to self-assemble virus-like particles using naturally occurring proteins which will be linked together by synthetic molecules.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description novel inhibitors of bacterial toxins that cause diarrhoea.
methods to assemble functional proteins into capsules.
Exploitation Route Further funding will be sought in collaboration with industrial partners
Sectors Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description BBSRC DTP summer studentship
Amount £2,500 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description BBSRC Follow-on-Fund
Amount £199,902 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R005540/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 10/2019
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £5,200 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description ERASynBio
Amount £1,603,900 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/M005666/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship
Amount € 183,455 (EUR)
Funding ID 746421 
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Description White Rose BBSRC DTP Industrial CASE
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description bacterial toxin inhibitors 
Organisation University of Wageningen
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution synthesis of modified proteins; biophysical analysis
Collaborator Contribution synthesis of carbohydrates and multivalent dendrimers
Impact Novel pentavalent inhibitors of bacterial toxins. publications listed elsewhere in research fish. Synthetic chemistry; protein engineering; biophysical analysis
Start Year 2009
 
Description bacterial toxin inhibitors 
Organisation Utrecht University
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution synthesis of modified proteins; biophysical analysis
Collaborator Contribution synthesis of carbohydrates and multivalent dendrimers
Impact Novel pentavalent inhibitors of bacterial toxins. publications listed elsewhere in research fish. Synthetic chemistry; protein engineering; biophysical analysis
Start Year 2009
 
Description Chair of COST Action CM1102 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact leading a COST Action Network in multivalent glycosystems for nanoscience . Awarding Body - European Science Foundation, Name of Scheme - COST

my work leading this network has led to many collaborative papers and proposals throughout the European carbohydrate community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description Complex Life of Sugars 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact stimulated the public's awareness of the importance of glycoscience

enthused several of my students to participate in further outreach eevnts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description I'm A Scientist - get me out of here! (TRB) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact on line chat room activities stimulated discussion. Student supported by the grant won the Drug Development zone competition based on votes from participating school children

school children enthused by science and voted for the student supported on the grant to be the winner of this national public engagement competition
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Mechanism of an unexpected oxidation reaction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact lecture describing mechanistic studies on a carbohydrate-modifying reaction.

enquiry from student to join my lab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Reengineering Bacterial Toxins for New Purposes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact dissemination of results at international conferences
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Synthetic Biology - A Brave New World? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk on synthetic biology presented to three Cafes Scientifiques; Leeds Skeptics Group; Humanist Society of West Yorkshire.

Each time I have given this lecture, it has led to a further invitation to speak on this subject to another audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2012
 
Description The Self-Assembly of Nanoarchitectures via Protein-Ligand Interactions (TRB) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster describing the results of the project.

poster identified as a top 10% poster at the international conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Understanding, Inhibiting and Exploiting Bacterial Toxins 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A research talk outlining the methods we have developed to make site specific chemical modifications on bacterial toxins.

further invitations to talk and to participate in grant applications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015