Investigating the structure and dynamics of biomolecules with NextGen single molecule detection tools

FUNDING: 10 weeks (full time, 37 hrs per week, £12 per hour, £750 consumables, £500 student accommodation bursary)
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 Dr. Steve Quinn, Dr. Peter O’Toole, and Dr. Tim Craggs, Physics and Biology, York

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Single-molecule biophysics approaches are revolutionising our understanding of biology, enabling the very building blocks of human life – proteins, nucleic acids, sugars and lipids – to be characterised with transformative levels of detail. In this project, the successful summer student will employ cutting-edge single-molecule biophysics tools to probe the conformational dynamics of single biomolecules as they freely diffuse in solution. This will  take advantage of single molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET), which assesses how biomolecular structure is related to function. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Exciting Instruments, a pioneering company based in Sheffield using the recently constructed  EI-FLEX microscopy tool. This project offers a unique opportunity to engage with a highly interdisciplinary team at the University of York, and to collaborate with Exciting Instruments. You will work closely with professionals at the forefront of spectroscopy and instrument development, gaining valuable insights into the latest technological advancements. Upon completion of the project, you will not only deepen our fundamental understanding of important biomolecular systems, but be equipped with a highly interdisciplinary skillset for advancing future contributions to the structural-biology community. Students will be expected to present their findings orally at a research day in York in September 2024.