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Bionanoscience and Biochemistry Lab Head

Prof. Jonathan Heddle

Prof. Jonathan Heddle

Academic researcher and biotech entrepreneur, Professor, Lab Head in Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology

I have expertise in expertise in biochemistry, enzymology, antibacterial drugs, structural biology and nanotechnology using biological molecules (bionanotechnology). In the past I worked in conjunction with academia and industry on using proteins to develop new, smaller, faster nanocircuitry.
Now, with my own lab I am looking at developing new types of biologically-based nanomaterials and new types of therapeutic agents. This includes using DNA origami as well as developing artificial, programmable protein nanostructures. I am interested in all aspects of biology and nanosystems. In addition I am interested in understanding and treating age-related disease.
Current projects include drug targets in malaria and the design of artificial protein and DNA structures.
We recently developed a interesting, programmable artificial protein nanocage ( which we are in the process of commmercialising.

"Proteins are challenging to design but have the potential to be engineered to form sophisticated materials and smart drugs." "Natural nanomachines including enzymes such as DNA gyrase are marvels of nature and may also be useful targets for therapeutic." "DNA is not only the 'blueprint of life' but is also a useful building material that we can design to build nanoscale structures and even programmable robots."

Heddle Lab

Bionanomachines are fascinating nanoscale machines made from biological molecules, typically proteins, lipids, RNA and DNA. In nature they carry out an amazing array of tasks from copying your DNA to converting light into energy. In our lab we are interested in understanding, designing and building natural and artificial bionanomachines. We use a mixture of biochemical, structural and computational techniques plus the most important ingredient: imagination. Currently we are particularly interested in the natural machine DNA gyrase both because of its fascinating and intricate mechanism but also because it is an important target for development of new antibacterial drugs. We are also building artificial structures from proteins and DNA with the aim of developing Programmable Biological  Matter. This describes artificial nanoscale biological material which can be programmed to move on demand. This will be useful for new materials and particularly medical use for example in effective vaccines and smart drug delivery systems which may one day be used as effective disease treatments in particular for age-associated diseases.