We work with synthetic biomolecular nanostructures built by self-assembly from DNA and RNA. The interactions between molecules of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA are controlled by the sequences in which the component bases A, C, G, T(U) are concatenated: A binds T(U) and C binds G to form a Watson-Crick double helix. The information stored in the base sequences of synthetic oligonucleotides can therefore be used to program their assembly and behaviour. We use this control to build molecular-scale structures by self-assembly, to program cascaded reactions that compute, and to create synthetic molecular machinery. We are developing the physics and technology of functional nucleic acid nanostructures to create disruptive technologies for the physical sciences and manufacture, including templates for molecular electronics and molecular machinery for atomically precise manufacture and chemical discovery. We are also working on probes of cellular structure and function including autonomous nanosystems that combine local diagnosis and therapy with single-cell resolution, that is, theranostic tools to underpin advances in 21st century medicine.
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