Single-molecule biophysics is at the forefront of the life-sciences interface, allowing the very building blocks of human life to be explored with unprecedented levels of detail. By combining techniques from biology, physics and chemistry, the field is uniquely placed to enable us to understand how biomolecules function.
Dr Steven Quinn
is a lecturer in Biophysics, specializing in multidisciplinary science across the Departments of Physics and Biology. His work combines recent advances in biochemistry with state-of-the-art microscopy tools to probe the molecular building blocks of human life and disease. His focus is the application of advanced single-molecule microscopy techniques to investigate complex biological processes in order to drive the rational design of next-generation therapeutics. Steven completed his PhD at St Andrews, and held research positions in Glasgow and MIT (USA).
Research in Steven's lab combines tools from chemistry, optics and spectroscopy, biology and microscopy to probe the nanoscale dynamics of biomolecules. His primary experimental approaches combine fluorescence microscopy tools, such as total-internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging, with cutting-edge biophysical and biochemical techniques.
His early work led to the development of new approaches for monitoring protein interactions heavily linked with Alzheimer's disease, and for the screening of novel inhibitors. He has also investigated how DNA base-pairing is modulated by molecular crowding, developed tools and techniques for identifying carbohydrate interactions and created a sensing platform based on quantum dot light emission for identifying toxic MRI contrast agents.
Recently, he has developed model membrane systems and is currently targeting protein-protein interactions implicated in cancer and protein-induced membrane disruption related to neurodegeneration.