Professor C MacPhee
Cait is a member of the following School research institute and research areas:
My research interests focus on the behaviour of proteins: the molecules that are responsible for the vast majority of functions in living organisms. The controlled self-assembly of proteins into well-defined structures and functional assemblies is essential to our well-being, however occasionally protein self-assembly takes place inappropriately. When this happens in the body it typically causes disease, and familial diseases as well as diseases of ageing (such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, cataract and type II diabetes) are all recognised to be the result of improper protein self-assembly. Protein self-assembly can also cause havoc in industrial processes including the production of biopharmaceuticals (e.g. insulin). When this occurs, the pharmaceutical is often lost as an irretrievably tangled mass of gelled protein. All is not lost, however: the self-assembly of proteins also underpins the texture of foodstuffs including egg, meat and milk products. It is understanding this process of self-assembly - to prevent or reverse disease, or to drive the development of new materials and foodstuffs - that forms the focus of my research efforts.
I teach Physics 1A Friday afternoon workshops and Research Methods in Junior Honours. I am also a Personal Tutor.
Cait currently offers the following PhD project opportunities:
Cait has featured in the following recent School news stories:
- Scientific Reports, 7, 1
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 30, p. E6184-E6191
- Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19, 12, p. 8584-8594