Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2009
Home Department: Applied Physics
Faculty Advisor: Zev Bryant (Bioengineering)

Research Title: Single molecule analysis of mechanochemical coupling in DNA gyrase

Research Description: Certain biomolecules act as molecular scale machines that draw energy from energy rich bonds in compounds like ATP. Aakash tried to understand how energy transduction, from chemical energy stored in ATP to mechanical work, takes place in molecular machines. He studied DNA gyrase, a machine responsible for supercoiling DNA and an important target for antibacterial drugs, by mapping out a series of structural transitions through which the machine cycles and studying how transitions between these intermediates are coupled to substeps in the ATP hydrolysis cycle. A detailed understanding of this mechanochemical coupling in biological molecular machines will enable the engineering of artificial molecular machines with novel functions.


Aakash is an assistant professor in the department of biosciences at Durham University.