Biological Physics


IOP Tom Duke Prize Lecture on Biological Physics

16 November 2016

Start: Nov 16, 2016 03:00 PM | End: Nov 16, 2016 04:00 PM | Location: Anatomy JZ Young LT (followed by drinks reception in Physics E3/7)

This year's Tom Duke Prize Lecture will be give by Professor Andrew Tuberfield from University of Oxford in Anatomy JZ Young LT. A reception will be held after the lecture in room E3/7 in the Physics Building.


Nanofabrication by biomolecular self-assembly can be used to create atomically precise, nanometre-scale structures. The control offered by DNA-self-assembly is spectacular: thousands of oligonucleotides can be designed to form rigid, three-dimensional complexes with defined contours and internal cavities. Each oligonucleotide has a unique sequence which defines its position in these structures, and chemically modified oligonucleotides can be used to position other molecular components. Synthetic nucleic acids can also form programmable dynamic systems which compute and exhibit complex temporal behaviours. RNA can be programmed to assemble within cells, and devices formed from nucleic acids can couple to and interact with living systems. Peptides and proteins can also be used for molecular-scale construction: they offer chemical diversity and naturally evolved functions at the expense of a less predictable set of assembly rules. I shall survey this rapidly evolving research field and its potential to provide new tools and technologies from biophysics to manufacture to medicine.