School of Physics and Astronomy

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Dr Lorna Dougan

Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Group

Contact details

Room: 8.32
Tel: +44 (0)113 3438958
Email: l.dougan @ leeds.ac.uk

Keywords

Water and aqueous solutions
Cryopreservation
Biomolecular self-assembly
Protein folding
Extremophiles
Single molecule force spectroscopy
Neutron diffraction
Synthetic biology

Research interests

Our group is interested in using novel biophysical approaches to explore the structure and dynamics of molecules in aqueous solutions. The major theme of our multidisciplinary program involves the development of single molecule manipulation techniques as well as structural studies using neutron diffraction and computational modelling. These powerful techniques are used as tools to study biomolecular self-assembly in both simple and complex systems.

Our current areas of interest include:

- The development of instrumentation for the mechanical manipulation of single molecules

- Understanding the action of cryoprotectant molecules

- Hydrogen bonding, percolation and micro-segregation in aqueous solutions

- Protein folding, stability and dynamics under extreme environmental conditions

- The development of enabling tools and technology for synthetic biology

- The design and characterisation of artificial biological levers for molecular motors

- The self-assembly and aggregation of disease relevant peptides and proteins

You can read more about our research on the Dougan Group web site!

Useful links

Dougan Group web pages
Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology
Institute of Physics Liquids and Complex Fluids Group
Institute of Physics Yorkshire Branch

Publications

Wolny M, Batchelor M, Bartlett GJ, Baker EG, Kurzawa M, Knight PJ, Dougan L, Woolfson DN, Paci E, Peckham M Characterization of long and stable de novo single alpha-helix domains provides novel insight into their stability Scientific Reports 7 -, 2017
DOI:10.1038/srep44341
View abstract

Alves da Silva M, Lenton S, Hughes M, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Assessing the potential of folded globular polyproteins as hydrogel building blocks Biomacromolecules 18 636-646, 2017
DOI:10.1021/acs.biomac.6b01877
View abstract

Tych KM, Batchelor M, Hoffmann T, Wilson MC, Hughes ML, Paci E, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Differential effects of hydrophobic core packing residues for thermodynamic and mechanical stability of a hyperthermophilic protein. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids 32 7392-7402, 2016
DOI:10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b01550
View abstract

Lenton S, Walsh DL, Rhys NH, Soper AK, Dougan L Structural evidence for solvent-stabilisation by aspartic acid as a mechanism for halophilic protein stability in high salt concentrations. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 18 18054-18062, 2016
DOI:10.1039/c6cp02684b
View abstract

Hughes ML, Dougan L The physics of pulling polyproteins: a review of single molecule force spectroscopy using the AFM to study protein unfolding. Reports on Progress in Physics 79 -, 2016
DOI:10.1088/0034-4885/79/7/076601
View abstract

Towey JJ, Soper AK, Dougan L Low-Density Water Structure Observed in a Nanosegregated Cryoprotectant Solution at Low Temperatures from 285 to 238 K Journal of Physical Chemistry B 120 4439-4448, 2016
DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b01185
View abstract

Tych KM, Batchelor M, Hoffmann T, Wilson MC, Paci E, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Tuning protein mechanics through an ionic cluster graft from an extremophilic protein. Soft Matter 12 2688-2699, 2016
DOI:10.1039/C5SM02938D
View abstract

Rhys NH, Soper AK, Dougan L Hydrophilic Association in a Dilute Glutamine Solution Persists Independent of Increasing Temperature Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 15644-15651, 2015
DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b07413
View abstract

Dougan L Surviving at the extremes Physics World 28 30-34, 2015

Hoffmann T, Tych KM, Crosskey T, Schiffrin B, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Rapid and Robust Polyprotein Production Facilitates Single-Molecule Mechanical Characterization ofβ-Barrel Assembly Machinery Polypeptide Transport Associated Domains. ACS Nano 9 8811-8821, 2015
DOI:10.1021/acsnano.5b01962
View abstract

Tych KM, Hoffmann T, Batchelor M, Hughes ML, Kendrick KE, Walsh DL, Wilson M, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Life in extreme environments: Single molecule force spectroscopy as a tool to explore proteins from extremophilic organisms Biochemical Society Transactions 43 179-185, 2015
DOI:10.1042/BST20140274
View abstract

Batchelor M, Wolny M, Dougan L, Paci E, Knight PJ, Peckham M Myosin tails and singleα-helical domains Biochemical Society Transactions 43 58-63, 2015
DOI:10.1042/BST20140302
View abstract

Dougan L Using Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy to Probe Proteins from Extremophiles, 2015

Tych KM, Hughes ML, Bourke J, Taniguchi Y, Kawakami M, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Optimizing the calculation of energy landscape parameters from single-molecule protein unfolding experiments Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 91 -, 2015
DOI:10.1103/PhysRevE.91.012710
View abstract

Wolny M, Batchelor M, Knight PJ, Paci E, Dougan L, Peckham M Stable singleα-helices are constant force springs in proteins. J Biol Chem 289 27825-27835, 2014
DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.585679
View abstract

Wolny M, Batchelor M, Parker F, Baboolal T, Mashanov G, Molloy J, Paci E, Dougan L, Knight PJ, Peckham M Unravelling the Properties of Single alpha-Helical Domains in Myosin and other Proteins, 2014

Towey JJ, Soper AK, Dougan L What happens to the structure of water in cryoprotectant solutions? Faraday Discussions 167 159-176, 2013
DOI:10.1039/c3fd00084b
View abstract

Hoffmann T, Tych KM, Hughes ML, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Towards design principles for determining the mechanical stability of proteins. Phys Chem Chem Phys 15 15767-15780, 2013
DOI:10.1039/c3cp52142g
View abstract

Tych K, Dougan L A Single-Molecule Approach to Explore the Role of the Solvent Environment in Protein Folding In Proteins in Solution and at Interfaces: Methods and Applications in Biotechnology and Materials Science , 2013
DOI:10.1002/9781118523063.ch15
View abstract

Rhys NH, Dougan L The emerging role of hydrogen bond interactions in polyglutamine structure, stability and association Soft Matter 9 2359-2364, 2013
DOI:10.1039/c2sm27565a
View abstract

Hoffmann T, Tych KM, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy Identifies a Small Cold Shock Protein as Being Mechanically Robust The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 117 1819-1826, 2013
DOI:10.1021/jp310442s
View abstract

Tych KM, Hoffmann T, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L Single molecule force spectroscopy reveals the temperature-dependent robustness and malleability of a hyperthermophilic protein Soft Matter 9 9016-9025, 2013
DOI:10.1039/C3SM51439K
View abstract

Towey JJ, Soper AK, Dougan L Molecular insight into the hydrogen bonding and micro-segregation of a cryoprotectant molecule. J Phys Chem B 116 13898-13904, 2012
DOI:10.1021/jp3093034
View abstract

Rhys NH, Soper AK, Dougan L The hydrogen-bonding ability of the amino acid glutamine revealed by neutron diffraction experiments. J Phys Chem B 116 13308-13319, 2012
DOI:10.1021/jp307442f
View abstract

Hoffmann T, Tych K, Brockwell DJ, Dougan L A small cold shock protein as a model for force spectroscopy studies of extremophilic proteins, 2012

Hoffmann T, Dougan L Single molecule force spectroscopy using polyproteins Chemical Society Reviews 41 4781-4796, 2012
DOI:10.1039/c2cs35033e
View abstract

Towey JJ, Dougan L Structural examination of the impact of glycerol on water structure Journal of Physical Chemistry B 116 1633-1641, 2012
DOI:10.1021/jp2093862
View abstract

Towey JJ, Soper AK, Dougan L Preference for isolated water molecules in a concentrated glycerol-water mixture Journal of Physical Chemistry B 115 7799-7807, 2011
DOI:10.1021/jp203140b
View abstract

Dougan L, Crain J, Finney JL, Soper AK Molecular self-assembly in a model amphiphile system. Phys Chem Chem Phys 12 10221-10229, 2010
DOI:10.1039/c003407j
View abstract

Fernandez JM, Garcia-Manyes S, Dougan L Force-Clamp Spectroscopy of Single Proteins Single Molecule Spectroscopy in Chemistry, Physics and Biology 96 317-335 572-, 2010
View abstract

Dougan L Self-Assembly in a Model Amphiphile System BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL 98 43A-43A, 2010

Dougan L, Li J, Badilla CL, Berne BJ, Fernandez JM Single homopolypeptide chains collapse into mechanically rigid conformations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106 12605-12610, 2009
DOI:10.1073/pnas.0900678106
View abstract

Garcia-Manyes S, Dougan L, Badilla CL, Brujic J, Fernandez JM Direct observation of an ensemble of stable collapsed states in the mechanical folding of ubiquitin P NATL ACAD SCI USA 106 10534-10539, 2009
DOI:10.1073/pnas.0901213106

Garcia-Manyes S, Dougan L, Fernandez JM Osmolyte-induced separation of the mechanical folding phases of ubiquitin P NATL ACAD SCI USA 106 10540-10545, 2009
DOI:10.1073/pnas.0902090106

Dougan L, Brujic J, Fernandez JM Force-clamp Spectroscopy of Single Proteins, 2009
DOI:10.1002/9783527626137.ch13

Dougan L, Koti ASR, Genchev G, Lu H, Fernandez JM A Single-Molecule Perspective on the Role of Solvent Hydrogen Bonds in Protein Folding and Chemical Reactions CHEMPHYSCHEM 9 2836-2847, 2008
DOI:10.1002/cphc.200800572

Ainavarapu SRK, Wiita AP, Dougan L, Uggerud E, Fernandez JM Single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements of bond elongation during a bimolecular reaction J AM CHEM SOC 130 6479-6487, 2008
DOI:10.1021/ja800180u

Dougan L, Fernandez JM Tandem repeating modular proteins avoid aggregation in single molecule force spectroscopy experiments J PHYS CHEM A 111 12402-12408, 2007
DOI:10.1021/jp06095+

Walther KA, Grater F, Dougan L, Badilla CL, Berne BJ, Fernandez JM Signatures of hydrophobic collapse in extended proteins captured with force spectroscopy P NATL ACAD SCI USA 104 7916-7921, 2007
DOI:10.1073/pnas.0702179104

Soper AK, Dougan L, Crain J, Finney JL Excess entropy in alcohol-water solutions: A simple clustering explanation J PHYS CHEM B 110 3472-3476, 2006
DOI:10.1021/jp054556q

Dougan L, Hargreaves R, Bates SP, Finney JL, Reat V, Soper AK, Crain J Segregation in aqueous methanol enhanced by cooling and compression J CHEM PHYS 122 -, 2005
DOI:10.1063/1.1888405

Dougan L, Bates SP, Hargreaves R, Fox JP, Crain J, Finney JL, Reat V, Soper AK Methanol-water solutions: A bi-percolating liquid mixture J CHEM PHYS 121 6456-6462, 2004
DOI:10.1063/1.1789951

Dougan L, Crain J, Vass H, Magennis SW Probing the liquid-state structure and dynamics of aqueous solutions by fluorescence spectroscopy, 2004

Wolny M, Batchelor M, Bartlett GJ, Baker EG, Kurzawa M, Knight PJ, Dougan L, Takagi Y, Woolfson DN, Paci E, Peckham M Design and Characterization of Long and Stable de novo Single alpha-Helix Domains,