Accessibility statement

Dr Steven D. Quinn
Lecturer in Biophysics



2017-present Lecturer in Biophysics, University of York
2016-2017 MIT (USA), Lindemann Trust Fellowship
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



Biophysics - PHY00022M
Molecular Machines - BIO00019H

Other teaching

BSc Project Supervisor 



I am a Lecturer in Biophysics, specializing in multidisciplinary science across the Departments of Physics and Biology. 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.

My early work led to the development of new approaches for monitoring protein-protein interactions heavily linked with Alzheimer’s disease (Mol. Biosyst. 2014, 10, 34-44) and for the screening of inhibitors (Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 2014, 61, 46-55; ChemBioChem 2016, 17, 1029-1037). I have also investigated how DNA base-pairing is modulated by molecular crowders (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 16020-16023), developed a platform for identifying carbohydrate interactions (ChemPhysChem. 2016, 120, 19487-19491) and created a sensing technique based on quantum dot light emission for identifying toxic MRI contrast agents (J. Phys. Chem. C. 2016, 120, 19487-19491; RSC Adv. 2017, 7, 24730-24735).

We are currently targeting protein-protein interactions related to cancer and protein-induced disruption of lipid membranes and their link to neurodegeneration. The primary experimental approaches combine advanced fluorescence microscopy tools, such as total-internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging, with cutting-edge biophysical and biochemical techniques.

Stephen Quinn

Department of Physics
University of York
YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0)1904 323014
Room: GE3/110