Prof Giuseppe Battaglia

Prof Giuseppe Battaglia

Professor of Molecular Bionics

Dept of Chemistry

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2013

Research summary

We design bionic units that mimic specific biological functions and/or introduce operations that do not exist in Nature. We apply a constructionist approach where we mimic biological complexity in the form of design principles to produce functional units from simple building blocks and their interactions. We called this Molecular Bionics. Such an effort is multidisciplinary and involves inputs from Chemistry, Physics, Material Science and Engineering from one side and Cell and Molecular  Biology, Physiology, Immunology, Oncology and Neuroscience from the other side.

From the physical science side, we are engaged in several activities of synthesis and characterisation of novel hierarchal materials whose properties are the result of the holistic combination of its components.  We combine synthetic and supramolecular chemistry to tune inter/intramolecular interactions and self-assembly processes to form dynamic soft materials whose molecular, supramolecular and mesoscale structures are tuned and fit for the final application   (Molecular Engineering).  These materials are often designed to interact with living systems and thus its biological activity is studied in high details. We have, indeed, developed and established new methodologies to study living systems and how synthetic materials interact with them combining holistically physical and life sciences (Physical Biology). Both know-hows are applied together  to study biological organisation and complexity creating synthetic surrogates that act as model system (Synthetic Biology) as well as to engineer novel sophisticated ways to interact with complex living organism with the final aim to explore its interior. In analogy to medical Bionics, where engineering and physical science converge to the design of replacement and/or enhancement of malfunctioning body parts, we take inspiration from viruses, trafficking vesicles and exosomes to apply molecular engineering to create nanoscopic carriers that can navigate the human body (Nanomedicine) with  the final aim to improve drug delivery or create new diagnostic tools.

Teaching summary


University of Sheffield
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2006
Universita degli Studi di Palermo
First Degree, Laurea | 2001


2013- present Chair of Molecular Bionics, Dept of Chemistry and Div. Infection and Immunity, University College London, UK

2010-2013 Chair of Synthetic Biology, Dept of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield, UK

2009-2010 Senior Lecturer in Bionanotechnology (Associate Professor), Dept of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield, UK

2006-2009 Lecturer in Bionanotechnology (Assistant Professor), Dept of Material Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK

2001-2002 Research Process Engineer, Imperial Chemical Industries, UK