Aimee Boyle creates metal-binding peptides and proteins with the aim of investigating their structural properties and exploring their potential functions. At a fundamental level, the effects of metal-binding on peptide folding (and vice versa) are probed and applications of these metal-containing biomolecules in areas such as catalysis, biosensing, and antibacterial coatings are explored.
Aimee Boyle was born in the UK. In 2008 she graduated from the University of Southampton (UK) with an MChem in Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences. During her studies she completed a six-month research internship at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where she investigated the structural properties of two self-assembling, cage-like proteins. This project initiated her fascination with the assembly pathways of peptides and proteins.
In September 2008 she moved to the University of Bristol (UK) to begin a PhD with Professor Dek Woolfson. The PhD focused on the design and self-assembly of coiled-coil peptides, investigating how to form coiled coils with differing oligomer states and also how to join them together with short peptidic linkers to generate closed nanostructures of defined, varying sizes.
In 2013 she moved to Leiden and worked as a postdoc in the Supramolecular and Biomaterials Chemistry group of Alexander Kros. Here, she contributed to several projects including a collaborative effort with other groups in Leiden University studying ways in which to coat gold nanorods with targeting peptides for single-molecule tracking in vitro. She also studied model systems for membrane fusion, focusing on understanding coiled-coil mediated liposome fusion.
In 2015 she was awarded a VENI fellowship, which enabled her to begin her own research line. She started to design and characterise metallopeptides in order to investigate their metal-binding selectivity and the effects metal-binding has on peptide folding.
In January 2020 she became as Assistant Professor and moved to the Macromolecular Biochemistry (MacBio) group at Leiden University. Here, she continues her research into metal-binding peptides but is also expanding into the protein universe. She is also beginning to investigate the applications of metallopeptides and proteins as, amongst other things, biosensors and antibacterial agents. For more information about her current research projects, please see her research page.
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