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Heddle Lab | Bionanoscience and Biochemistry

Bionano and Biochemistry Lab has a number of exciting and novel research projects based around understanding and designing natural and artificial bionanomachines.

Team Leader

Dr hab. Jonathan Heddle
Małopolskie Centrum Biotechnologii
Gronostajowa 7A, 30-387 Kraków


Scope of research

Bionanomachines abound in nature. They are typified by the proteins that catalyse biological reactions essential to life – the enzymes. Calling an enzyme a machine is really quite accurate, enzymes typically utilise energy to do work which otherwise would not get done (or at least not at the required efficiency or speed). Biological nanomachines often contain moving parts and may be quite intricate. Other biological nanoshapes provide important structural components. Biological nanomachines quite literally build the biological world molecule by molecule. Imagine if we could understand exactly the principles by which they work – we would be able to control natural nanomachines (particularly useful in combatting disease) and we would be able to build our own nanomachines able to do things not found in nature (e.g. smart drugs). Finally, as well as our interest in proteins we are also interested in using DNA to build nanomachines and this is a new and growing area.

Our current and recent projects:

  • Artificial protein nanostructures

Here we aim to build new artificial protein nanostructures not found in nature.

  • Natural Nanomachines

Here we investigate topoisomerases, specifically DNA gyrase, both a fascinating nanomachine and an important target for antibacterial drugs.

  • DNA Nanomachines (FNP funded)

DNA is not just an information storage molecule it is also a highly programmable structural material that can be easily designed to form useful shapes and even programmable robots.





Sources of funding

Job Opportunities

Currently we have no vacancies however PhD students are recruited twice a year and postdoctoral positions arise occasionally. We are always interested in welcoming the most talented and enthusiastic researchers to our team. (If you are interested please send a cover letter and CV to us.)