The main focus of my research is on the development of novel biomaterials for non-aqueous biocatalysis. The aim of such research is to provide new technologies for industrial bioprocessing, and to further our understanding of proteins and enzymes in unnatural environments.
Initially my work, throughout my PhD and first post-doc, has been an effort to further understand the biophysics of proteins and enzymes in nonaqueous/unnatural environments. This was done through the the design and characterization of solvent-free liquid proteins. These unique biofluids are liquids in the absent of any solvent, and retain structure, dynamics, and function despite the lack of water. Amazingly, these materials have a high thermal stability, with enzyme activity attainable at 150 °C.
Now, my research builds on these foundations to develop enzyme-based biocatalysts for use in non-aqueous and emerging solvents, such as ionic liquids, providing a robust and versatile platform for truly using biology for industrial purposes.
More recently, I have begun a program of research on ionogels as a new platform technology for biocatalysis, with the aim of extending this to bioelectronics and biosensing. This will be an exciting new direction for this new-class of gel material, so there is a lot of work to be done!
Please see the links below, and my publications for further detail.