My research is in the field of de novo heme protein design, aiming to finely control the redox properties and catalytic activities of these proteins. I am primarily based in the Anderson group, which utilises a ‘maquette’ approach to enzyme design – combining simple helical bundles with redox active cofactors such as heme to engineer new activity. I am aiming to use computational biochemistry tools such as classical molecular dynamics (primarily AMBER) and the protein design software Rosetta to design new proteins, which can then be expressed and biochemically characterised in the lab.
My current focus is on modulation of redox potential in b-type heme containing maquettes, that have previously been developed and structurally characterised by the Anderson group. I am working closely with Sofia to use a Monte-Carlo Continuum Electrostatics method to predict the electrostatic properties of de novo designed maquette variants that are then experimentally validated. I am also attempting to design b-type heme maquettes with catalytic properties. I hope to be able to unlock powerful cytochrome P450-like chemistry in these maquettes, by integrating both computational and experimental design methods.
I am a PhD student within the EPSRC and BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology. I am very interested in the use of science communication and BioArt to increase public engagement and participation within the scientific community.