PhD project: The physics of viruses

Project description

Viruses are composite nanoparticles (~10 -100 nm diameter) comprising a core of genetic material (DNA or RNA) that is surrounded by thin protein shell (or capsid). Viruses are efficient at transferring their genetic material into a host cell and then hijacking the cell's machinery in order to reproduce. To act as efficient genetic transfer agents, viruses have to exhibit mechanical properties that enable them to withstand the high osmotic pressures of packaged DNA and strong shear flows as they travel around the body.

Potential projects could use: 

(A) neutron and x-ray scattering, to  relate mechanical response of viruses to structural and dynamical properties of the capsid; or
(B) highly parallelized microfluidics-based experiments (see other project) to investigate virus self-assembly or the influence of phages on bacterial population dynamics.

Project supervisor

The project supervisor welcomes informal enquiries about this project.

Find out more about this research area

The links below summarise our research in the area(s) relevant to this project:

What next?

More PhD projects