As part of a major refurbishment of the Faculty of Biological Sciences, the Jeuken Group has into a new (temporary) location. We are now situated in the so-called Bioincubator in a shine new lab.
Welcome to Post Doc and three MSc students
October will be busy with four new people starting in the group. We welcome Ievgen Mauzrenko, who will start a 3-year Post Doc project to study proton pumping by complex I. This is a collaborative project with Dr. Judy Hirst from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge. We are also very exited to have no less than three MSc starting this year: Anushka, Wajiha and Chris. Anushka and Chris will work to create novel liposomal and microbial photocatalysts, respectively, for solar fuel production. Wajiha will join a project that aims to create new sensor technology to measure the redox balance in cell lines.
Funded by a Rideal Travel Bursary, Anna Wolna went to the UK Coilloids Conference in Manchester in Sept. this year. As part of the Bursary, she wrote a report in which she explains her experiences and opportunities that presented themselves at the conference.
New VisitorWelcome to Niko Teiwes, who is visiting us from September to November to do short MSc project as part of this studies at the University of Göttingen. He is working on a project that aims to find the function of a novel cytochrome bd homologue in a archaebacteria.
Our aim is to to control the interaction between biological macromolecules and inorganic 'solid' surfaces. The interaction between biomolecules and surfaces is key to many assays, but often not controlled. Take for instance an ELISA assay; Biomolecules are 'randomly' physisorbed on plastic 96-well plates without any control on the orientation of these molecules. However, biomolecules for which the epitope is orientated towards the plastic surfaces might not interact with antibodies. The interaction between solid, inorganic surfaces is particular important for membrane proteins, where the hydrophobic regions of the protein will change the way the proteins interacts with its environment. Vice versa, the influence of inorganic surfaces on proteins might be more pronounces for membrane proteins, denaturing the protein or otherwise influencing the function of the membrane proteins. Membrane proteins, in general, are more difficult to study due to their amphiphatic nature. Many membrane enzymes are studied in detergent solutions or only hydrophilic subunits are used (i.e., removing the integral membrane subunits). However, the lipid membrane has an important influence on the proteins that reside in them and experimental techniques that do not include the membrane are thus limited. When studying membrane proteins with assays that include their adsorption to a solid surface, one would ideally like to retain a native-like lipid environment. Important examples are enzymes that interact with the hydrophobic quinone pool (like ubiquinol oxidase). Other examples include 'membrane-bound hydrogenases', where the majority of studies are performed on the two hydrophilic subunits, without the third transmembrane quinone-converting subunit.
In our group, we chemical modify surfaces with the aim to control the interaction between membrane proteins (or whole membranes) and the surface. We call these modifications ''membrane-modified surfaces'. Our surfaces are characterised with a broad spectrum of tools, including Quartz-Crystal Microballance with Dissipation (QCM-D) and Atomic Force Spectroscopy (AFM). We are extending our research into controlling the interaction between solid surfaces (including nanoparticles) and whole bacteria, which has important applications in microbial electrochemistry.
The interaction between (membrane) proteins and inorganic surfaces is also important in 'nanotoxicology'. Nanotoxicology is a field where we study and determine possible toxic effects that nanoparticles might have and importantly, how these effects differ from the same material in the macroscopic form.
For more information about our research and projects, please press the 'research' or ERC 'MEME' tab on the top-left of this page.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, we are a connected to a number of school and centres in Leeds
Lars J. C. Jeuken
School of Biomedical Sciences
Leeds LS2 9JT UK
+44 (0)113 - 3433829
Office: Garstang (Bioincubator), 7.31