Dylan Lewis

Studying the transient nature of protein binding within the electron transport chain

About me

After doing an integrated masters in biochemistry and microbiology at the university of Sheffield, I decided to stay within the same lab group that I did my masters project with. During my masters with the photosynthesis group I studied potential new phosphorus sources within soils for use as alternative fertilisers. I studied a substrate binding protein of an ABC transporter called AepX, which transports a phosphonate called 2-AEP. Most of my lab time was spent generating mutants, purifying proteins and performing microscale thermophoresis to see how each mutant affected the binding of 2-AEP.

My project

For my PhD I have changed topics and I now study the nature of proteins within the electron transport chain of photosynthesis and mitochondria using a variety of AFM techniques. The main techniques I am using are PF-QNM and PF-TUNA. Using these techniques I should be able to create an affinity map of how electron transport proteins bind, allowing for a deeper understanding of how electron transport occurs. Within the electron transport chain, it is supposed that electron tunnelling occurs, using AFM I will be investigating the way that this happens along with creating mutants that may affect the speed and probability of electron tunnelling occurring. The concept of quantum biology has always excited me, and to be able to discover new things within this field is an amazing opportunity that I am grateful for.