School of Biosciences

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Wain Medal Lecture 2017

11 September 2017

The 2017 Wain Medal Lecture will be given by Dr Sarah S Staniland, Reader in Bionanoscience, Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield.

The lecture entitled: “From bacterial magnets to anti-cancer treatment – exploiting novel materials found in nature” will take place on Wednesday 18th October, 17:00 in Woolf Lecture Theatre.

The lecture is free and open to all.

Nature has evolved many fascinating, intricate and remarkable processes – some of which are quite obscure and whose physiological function is not fully appreciated. I will be telling you about one such process, which is found in a group of bacteria that are magnetic – the magnetotactic bacteria.

Magnetic bacteria are ubiquitous, aquatic microbes that take up soluble iron from the environment and use this to biomineralise a chain of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles within dedicated organelles called "magnetosomes", within their cell. Biology controls this process with incredible precision, ensuring specific monodispersed size and shaped magnetosomes within each strain, but a variety of differing sizes and shapes as strains vary, showing how the process is genetically controlled in a highly accurate fashion. In this lecture we consider just how soft biological proteins control the defined formation and crystallisation of these minerals down to the nanoscale level, by studying magnetosome biomineralisation proteins.

We can use this knowledge and understanding of biological magnet formation to make our own nano-magnets or magnetic nanoparticles. One exciting application of this research is the development of artificial magnetic nanoparticles for use in diagnostics and cancer treatment.

For further information please contact Professor Martin Warren, School of Biosciences, Tel: 01227 827582


Enquiries: Phone: +44 (0)1227 823743

School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NJ

Last Updated: 27/09/2013