Part II projects

Part II projects  for 2017 include the following themes

  • Drug-solvation in amphiphilic environments - we are interested in drugs which cross the blood brain barrier and how solvation of these molecules can predict their efficacy as drugs.
  • Hydration of DNA and how this leads to Crick-Watson base-pairing in solution.
  • Protein folding/unfolding in solution - we are interested in how proteins fold and unfold on the atomic scale in solution and how water and different molecular motifs on denaturants act to unfold proteins in solution. Understanding this has implications for understanding a myriad of folding/aggregation diseases such as Alzheimer's (which has been linked to protein plaque formation in the brain.

Within the group we use a variety of experimental (NMR and neutron diffraction, mostly) and computational techniques  to investigate these biophysical problems.  Former part II students have had projects which range from purely computational to purely experimental to those that have a combination of both experiment and computation. 

If you'd like to discuss a potential project (not just for part II students but if you are interested in a summer Vacation studentship as well) please contact Sylvia

Former Part II (or Erasmus/exchange) students

Imogen Duffy (Oriel)  Part II (2016-2017). Imogen is originally from London and came to Oxford to study Biochemistry at Oriel in 2013.

Imogen's project concerned investigations into the hydration of the lipid DOPE in solution as well as how this hydration is preserved or disrupted in the presence of drugs which cross the BBB.  Imogen's project involved using neutron diffraction, NMR and computational techniques.

Rachel McCann (Brasenose) Part II (2016-2017)  Rachel is originally from Bangor (near Belfast in Northern Ireland) and came to study Biochemistry at Brasenose in 2013.

Rachel's project concerned investigations into the hydration of the drugs oxazepam and diazepam in amphiphliic solutions and the role that hydration plays in their ability to interact with proteins and to cross into the brain via lipid mediated diffusion. Rachel's project involved using neutron diffraction and computational techniques.

Alvaro Silva-Santisteban (Physics, Barcelona) Erasmus Exchange program 2016
Alvaro is originally from Peru, but studies at Physics at UPC in Barcelona.  He finished his project in June 2016, which used neutron diffraction/NMR and computation to investigate the role of hydration for the drug prilocaine in solution and this work was published in 2017

On the structure of prilocaine in aqueous and amphiphilic solutions
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 19, 12665-12673 (2017)
Silva-Santisteban, A; Steinke, N, Johnston, AJ, Ruiz, GN, Pardo, LC and McLain, SE*
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01723E

Christopher Sowden (Biochemistry, Christ Church)
Part II (2015-16)

Chris is originally from Plymouth in the UK, he finished his project in the group investigate the impact that drugs which cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) can have on the solvation of membrane lipids in June 2016.

Luxmmi Varathan (Biochemistry, Oriel)
Part II student 2014-2015
Luxmmi is originally from South London.  She finished her project in the group on simulations of Alprazolam in solution in June 2015 (Published in 2016 with PhD student Andrew Johnston and MSc student Akshay Sridhar). 

The solvation structure of alprazolam
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18, 22416-22425 (2016) Sridhar, A, Johnston, AJ, Varathan, L, McLain, SE and Biggin, PC

Yapei (Rosie) Zhang (Molecular Biology, Princeton University (USA))
Autumn 2012: Princeton/Oxford Exchange Student
  (Joint with Prof. Mark Sansom)
Rosie is originally from Canada.  She finished her project on simulations of Indole and Tryptophan in methanol/water solutions in April 2013 (published in 2015 with PhD student Andrew Johnston):

Amphipathic Solvation of Indole: Implications for the Role of Tryptophan in Membrane Proteins
J. Phys. Chem. B,
119 (19), 5979-5987 (2015).
Johnston, AJ, Zhang, Y (Rosie), Busch, S, Pardo, LC, Imberti, S & McLain SE
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b02476

Brad O'Dell
W. Brad O'Dell (Oak Ridge National Lab)
Undergraduate student 2007-2009 (University of Tennessee)
Brad was a project student in 2008-2009.  He finished his project on cellobiose in solution in 2010 . 

You can read more about Brad's work in the publications below:

Structural evidence for inter-residue hydrogen bonding observed for cellobiose in aqueous solution
PLoS ONE 7(10):e45311 (2012).
O'Dell, WB, Baker DC and McLain, SE*

On the structure of water and chloride ion interactions with a peptide backbone in solution.
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 15, 21023-21033 (2013)
Busch, S; Pardo, LC; O'Dell WB; Bruce, CD; Lorenz CD and McLain SE*
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP53831A

Design downloaded from free website templates.