The research interests of the Dobson group are primarily focused on the investigation of the structures and properties of biological molecules, especially proteins, and their relationship to biological evolution and disease. The group has particular interest in the fundamental science underlying disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. In addition, however, it has recently become involved in the novel utilization of biological molecules in materials science and nanotechnology.
The methods used by the group are largely experimental, but do include theoretical and computational approaches. Much of the work is highly interdisciplinary, and people joining the group come from a wide variety of scientific backgrounds ranging from experimental biochemistry to theoretical physics. The research group is based in the Chemistry Department in a newly constructed laboratory located in the Unilever Building. The range of experimental techniques used by the group is very large, including NMR, EM, AFM and X-ray diffraction, as well as a variety of methods based on optical spectroscopy, including fluorescence and circular dichroism. Many, but not all, members of the group also use the techniques of protein chemistry and molecular biology.
The group has close links with the Clinical School, the Genetics Department and the Nanoscience Centre and, indeed, some members of the group are largely based in these departments. New members of the group usually develop a project by discussion with Dr. Dobson, along with other members of the research team. Group members are often involved in joint projects with other laboratories and may spend periods of time working with our collaborators in other parts of the world.