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Dr Steven D. Quinn
Senior Lecturer in Biophysics




Steven Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in Biophysics, conducting interdisciplinary research at the life sciences interface. After completing his PhD at the University of St. Andrews Steve moved to the University of Glasgow to pursue a postdoctoral research position in the field of single molecule biophysics. In 2016, Steve was awarded a prestigious Lindemann Trust Fellowship that enabled him to perform advanced Biochemistry and microscopy experiments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2017, Steve was appointed to a Lectureship position at the University of York and now leads the Biological Nanosystems Laboratory. In addition to being a Senior Lecturer Steve also currently holds an Alzheimer's Research UK Fellowship.


Summary of expertise

  • Design and construction of single-molecule fluorescence microscopes.
  • Biochemical and biophysical characterization of model-membrane systems.
  • Advanced optical techniques to probe protein self-assembly.
  • Time correlated single photon counting. 
  • Single molecule FRET


  • 2022 - present Senior Lecturer, University of York
  • 2017-2022 Lecturer in Biophysics, University of York
  • 2016-2017 MIT (USA), Lindemann Trust Fellow
  • 2013-2016 University of Glasgow (UK), Postdoctoral Researcher
  • 2010-2013 University of St Andrews (UK), PhD
  • 2009-2010 University of Oxford, MSc
  • 2004-2009 University of St Andrews (UK), MPhys

Roles in the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

  • Year 4 Coordinator for Biophysics module 
  • Physical Sciences Ethical Review Coordinator 
  • Physics Careers and Employability Coordinator



Biophysics - PHY00022M
Molecular Machines - BIO00019H

Other teaching

BSc Project Supervisor 

MPhys Project Supervisor



My work combines recent advances in biochemistry with state-of-the-art microscopy tools to probe the molecular building blocks of human life and disease. My focus is the application of single-molecule microscopy techniques to investigate complex biological processes in order to drive the rational design of next-generation therapeutics.

The field of single-molecule biophysics is at the forefront of the life-sciences interface, allowing the very building blocks of human life (DNA, RNA, proteins) to be explored with unprecedented levels of detail. By following individual biomolecules at work, we can directly measure biological interactions, chemical reactions and discrete structural changes that may be impossible to detect by conventional methods. Single-molecule techniques are uniquely placed to enable us to understand how biomolecules and molecular machines function.

Recent Publications

Research group(s)

School of Physics, Engineering and Technology
University of York
YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0)1904 323014
Room: GE3/110