Gerrard, Juliet A.


School of Biological Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


The enormous potential of proteins as molecular components of nanodevicesand smart materials has been heralded for some time, but successful examples of designed protein nanostructures remain scarce. This is, in part, due to the paucity of generic building blocks (tectons) that can be manipulated to build structures of choice. In this talk, I will give an overview of our highly collaborative research programme to develop new peptide and protein tectonsand approaches we are taking to generating useful materials from these moieties. I will highlight doughnut-shaped proteins, in particular, and our results showing that their supramolecular assembly can be controlled by a combination of protein engineering and environmental triggers. Some illustrative applications will be discussed, including using the new structures for enzyme immobilisation, nanowire templates, biosensors and as components of hydrogels and bionanocomposites.

Biographic Details

Professor Juliet A. Gerrard

Research interests: protein nanotechnology