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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Jamie M. Withers is a Research Associate in the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde. His research focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of novel nucleic acids, and the development of methods to control DNA assembly. Jamie received his BSc majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry, BSc Honours majoring in Chemistry, and PhD from Massey University, New Zealand.

Jamie previously worked as a Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde from 2015-2018, developing new methods for immobilising nucleic acids and proteins onto lithographically patterned surfaces. In 2018, he moved to the Univeristy of Edinburgh to work with Scott Cockroft on a project aimed at using DNA to construct molecular machines with α-haemolysin nanopores. He returned to the University of Strathclyde for his current position where he continued his work on DNA and protein immobilisation, while expanding his research to include NMR-based structural characterisation and molecular dynamics studies of nucleic acids.

Research Interests

Jamie's research is focused on developing new methods for controlling the assembly of nucleic acids. This includes the design and study of artificial nucleotides with properties not found in natural systems. Although normally considered in a biological context, the 'genetic code' of DNA and RNA can be exploited to convert these biomolecules into molecular construction equipment. By carefully programming its base sequence, DNA can be designed in such a way that it self-assembles into complex 'origami' shapes. Jamie's work is aimed at creating new tools to improve the properties of this DNA origami, including developing nucleotides capable of coordinating to transition metal ions in order to control G-quadruplex formation, and has more recently involved exploiting the fluorous effect as a means of controlling the immobilisation of nucleic acids onto nano-patterned surfaces.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Massey University

Award Date: 13 Mar 2014

Bachelor of Science, Massey University

1 Jan 200831 Dec 2008

Award Date: 11 Mar 2009

Bachelor of Science, Massey University

1 Jan 200531 Dec 2007

Award Date: 11 Mar 2008

External positions

Research Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh

1 Jan 201831 Aug 2018


  • Chemistry
  • Nucleic Acids


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