University College London
Research Project: Advanced atomic force microscopy of DNA minicircles
Supervisors: Bart Hoogenboom (UCL), Ramon Vilar Compte (Imperial)
Philip completed a Master’s degree in Physics at the University of Exeter. Whilst there he built a microelectrophoresis system and investigated the feasibility of a novel Millikan style set-up to measure the surface charge of human erythrocytes (RBCs). As part of his PhD Philip will be studying the formation and dynamics of non-canonical DNA structures using AFM and FRET. In particular, G-quadruplex DNA has been shown to regulate oncogene expression and is a promising target for anti-cancer therapies. With the construction of a native model system, assays of G-quadruplex binders will be carried out with implications for drug development. Further to this, AFM and other fluorescence based techniques will be used elucidate mechanisms behnind genome organisation. Philip aims to futher improve AFM resolution (spatial and temporal) as past of a close collaboration with Bruker in Santa Barbara, California.