Clare Megarity

Clare Megarity

Dr

Personal profile

Biography

Clare initially studied Fine Art painting obtaining a BA(hons) degree from the Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster. In an about turn, she embarked on a career in science and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from Queen's University Belfast (2014) where she studied the molecular basis of negative cooperativity in flavo-enzymes in the lab of Prof. David Timson. Clare then joined Prof. Fraser Armstrong’s group at the University of Oxford (2015 – 2021) where she learnt to study enzymes using electrochemistry, focussing on two terminal enzymes of photosynthetic electron-transfer chains, the [FeFe]-hydrogenase, HydA1, and ferredoxin NADP+ reductase (FNR). Her work on FNR contributed to the discovery of the “Electrochemical Leaf”. Clare has been awarded a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellowship from the University of Manchester (2022) to begin her independent academic career, taking the Electrochemical Leaf in new directions.

 

RESEARCH

Electrified Enzymes; In the Electrochemical Leaf, enzymes (and cascades of enzymes) are entrapped and crowded in the tiny cavities of a highly porous electrode where they are driven bidirectionally by electricity, controlled by the voltage applied, and monitored directly in real-time. The crowded and nanoconfined conditions mimic those in nature, leading to high efficiency; coupled with the ability to drive and control the enzymes, the power of the Electrochemical Leaf as an enzyme interrogator, is unique.  My research will exploit this power to study enzyme cascades involved in disease and antibiotic resistance, for enzyme discovery and biosynthesis, and the design of new enzyme-electrode materials.      

Research interests

Electrified Enzymes

In the Electrochemical Leaf, enzymes (and cascades of enzymes) are entrapped and crowded in the tiny cavities of a highly porous electrode where they are driven bidirectionally by electricity, controlled by the voltage applied, and monitored directly in real-time. The crowded and nanoconfined conditions mimic those in nature, leading to high efficiency; coupled with the ability to drive and control the enzymes, the power of the Electrochemical Leaf as an enzyme interrogator, is unique.  My research will exploit this power to study enzyme cascades involved in disease and antibiotic resistance, for enzyme discovery and biosynthesis, and the design of new enzyme-electrode materials.     

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Molecular Basis of Negative Cooperativity: A Biochemical Study of NAD(P)H-quinone Oxidoreductases, Queen's University Belfast

1 Oct 20104 Jul 2014

Award Date: 4 Jul 2014

Bachelor of Science, (1st class), Biochemistry, Queen's University Belfast

1 Oct 200730 Jun 2010

Award Date: 2 Jul 2010

External positions

Postdoctoral Research Associate , Oxford University

5 Jul 201531 Aug 2021

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Enzymology
  • Enzyme engineering
  • Bioelectrochemistry
  • Cooperativity/Allostery

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Biotechnology
  • Cancer
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Keywords

  • Enzyme nanoconfinement
  • Bioelectrochemistry
  • Enzymology
  • Enzyme Cascades
  • Electrochemistry
  • Enzyme Engineering
  • Cooperativity/Allostery

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