My research programme focuses on unravelling the mechanisms of macromolecular machines using a range of structural biology techniques including X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.
I am particularly interested in the large macromolecular assemblies including the AAA (ATPase Associated with diverse cellular Activities) protein family that convert the energy from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical forces required for a myriad of biological pathways. At present my research focuses on three main areas: transcriptional regulation in bacteria, structrue and mechanism of multifunctional p97 and key components in DNA damage response.
In bacteria, transcription of many stress related genes is regulated by specialised activator proteins, which interact directly with the complex between RNA polymerase and sigma54 factor. We are interested in the mechanism of gene activation carried out by this class of activators through the hydrolysis of ATP. My second area of research is on p97, an abundant cellular protein involved in a diverse range of cellular activities through the coordination with accessory proteins.
Recently my lab has started to investigate a number of large key complexes in the DNA damage response pathway.