Hagan Bayley, Professor of Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford (UK) is our next guest speaker. He will give two different talks on “Protein pores as nanoreactors for single-molecule chemistry” (UNIGE, Nov 20, 2017) and on “Synthetic tissues from communicating droplet networks” (EPFL, Nov. 21, 2017).
About the talks
Protein pores as nanoreactors for single-molecule chemistry
Chemistry can be observed at the single-molecule level by using protein pores as “nanoreactors”. Non-covalent interactions observed in this way include the coordination of cations and anions and the binding of organic molecules to macrocyclic hosts. Covalent chemistry includes polymer chain elongation, complex reaction networks and molecular walking. Chemistry within protein nanopores is the basis of stochastic sensing, including the single-molecule sequencing of biopolymers.
Synthetic tissues from communicating droplet networks
Compared to the bottom-up assembly of minimal cells, synthetic tissues have so far received limited attention. We have used 3D printing to build networks of thousands of picoliter aqueous droplets joined by lipid bilayers, which can be functionalized with membrane proteins. The networks can fold and conduct electrical signals, behaving as simple synthetic tissues. We aim to interface these droplet networks with living tissues and control them with external signals, including light and magnetism.
About the speaker
Hagan Bayley is Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford. Major interests of his laboratory are the development of engineered pores for stochastic sensing, the study of covalent chemistry at the single molecule level, ultrarapid DNA sequencing and the fabrication of synthetic tissues. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Oxford in 1974, while at Balliol College, and his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University in 1979 in the laboratory of Jeremy Knowles. After postdoctoral work with Gobind Khorana at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was on the faculty at Columbia University and the University of Oxford. From 1988 to 1996, he was at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and from 1997 to 2003 at Texas A&M University in College Station. In 2005, Professor Bayley founded Oxford Nanopore to exploit the potential of stochastic sensing technology. The company has developed the MinION portable DNA sequencer. In 2014, he founded OxSyBio to build synthetic tissues for regenerative medicine. Both his research and entrepreneurial skills have been recognised several times. He has been a recipient of the Royal Society’s Wolfson Research Merit Award and was the 2009 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, Professor Bayley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2012, he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Interdisciplinary Prize and in 2017, the Menelaus Medal of the Learned Society of Wales.