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Dr Michael Booth
Christopher Ingold Building
Department of Chemistry
Dr Michael Booth profile picture
  • Lecturer in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Dept of Chemistry
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
I studied for an MChem degree at the University of Southampton, which included research projects in the groups of Professor Martin Grossel, Professor Ali Tavassoli, and Professor George Attard. As part of my undergraduate degree I also undertook a placement at the Université de Montréal, Canada, under the supervision of Professor Stephen Michnick. I carried out my PhD at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, developing sequencing techniques for modified cytosine bases. I then worked in the group of Professor Hagan Bayley at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher and Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford. At Oxford, I developed light-activated DNA technology to control cell-free protein expression within synthetic cells. I started my independent research career in 2018 with a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. In 2022, I moved to the Department of Chemistry at University College London to begin a Lectureship in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
Research Summary
DNA and RNA form the basis for many therapeutic and experimental technologies, including gene editing and silencing, several aspects of nanotechnology, aptamers and their applications, and cell-free protein expression. It would be advantageous to control the function of these technologies, as this would greatly expand their application in biology and medicine by reducing toxic on/off-target effects and systemic toxicity. The main focus of our research is the generation of remote-controlled nucleic acids under the control of various stimuli, including temperature, magnetism, enzymes, chemical signals, and multiple wavelengths of light. These nucleic acids will be optimized to function with molecular machines, drug delivery, sensing, and siRNA and CRISPR technologies. In the future, this universal chemical method for controlling DNA and RNA structure and function may form the basis of controllable therapeutics and new technologies for basic research.

For further information see our group website: boothlab.uk

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