Dr Lorna Dougan


We are developing single molecule manipulation techniques and neutron diffraction to explore the physics of living systems. These powerful techniques are used to study biomolecular self-assembly and the structure and dynamics of molecules in aqueous solutions, in both simple and complex systems. The Dougan Group is based in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds. Its members are also part of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the EPSRC



  • Director of Research and Innovation
  • Executive Committee Astbury Centre Structural Molecular 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!

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/167-life-on-mars?-self-assembly-of-biological-molecules-in-extreme-conditions">Life on Mars? Self assembly of biological molecules in extreme conditions</a></li>