Rita and John Cornforth Award 2017 Winner

Membrane Biophysics Platform
Imperial College London


Awarded for the development of robust design principles, using lipid self-assembly, for the manufacture of complex lipid structures

                  Membrane Biophysics Platform
(L-R) Dr Yuval Elani, Professor John Seddon, Professor Oscar Ces, Dr Nicholas Brooks and Dr Robert Law

About the Winner

The Membrane Biophysics Platform (MBP) at Imperial College London (IC) is a world leading centre in the design, characterisation and industrial application of self-assembled amphiphilic microstructures. They have pioneered advances in molecular membrane engineering, lyotropic liquid crystals, membrane mechanics, small molecule and protein-lipid interactions, artificial cells and single cell analysis. A key facet of the group that underpins this research portfolio is the development of bespoke instrumentation, from imaging methods through to advanced X-ray beamlines and microfluidics. 

Through its leadership of large scale research and training initiatives such as the Institute of Chemical Biology (ICB), the ICB Centre for Doctoral Training, the IC Advanced Hackspace and the CAPITALS programme, the MBP has fostered collaborations across the physical - life sciences interface, bringing together academic and industrial communities in partnership with policymakers to develop high-impact multidisciplinary research targeted at industrial and societal grand challenges. The MBP is engaged in more than 60 collaborations across the globe, their current interactions with industry include long standing partnerships with pharmaceutical industry, the personal care sector, agri-tech, food science and biotech SMEs. Research programmes with UK and European large X-ray and neutron facilities have underpinned breakthroughs in novel X-ray technologies and the discovery of novel lipid mesophases. 

The MBP has an exceptional record of training early-career researchers, graduating more than 30 PhD students in recent years, with more than half of these going on to secure positions as academic PIs or Research Fellows. Most recently, MBP translational research led to the establishment of Biomin Technologies Limited.

Related Links

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Imperial College London

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