PROFESSOR OF COMPUTATIONAL BIOPHYSICS
Syma graduated with a first class degree in Chemistry from the University of Warwick in 2000. She remained at Warwick to read for a PhD under the supervision of Prof. P. Mark Rodger. After obtaining her PhD in 2003, she moved to the University of Oxford as a postdoc in Prof Mark Sansom’s lab, to study the structure-function relationship of bacterial outer membrane proteins. During her postdoctoral work, she became interested in the application of molecular simulation techniques to problems in bionanotechnology. From 2006, she was funded by the Oxford Bionanotechnology IRC to pursue a number of projects in collaboration with experimental groups. In 2007, she was appointed as RCUK fellow in chemical biology at the University of Southampton. In 2010, she was appointed to a full lectureship at Southampton. In 2012 She was promoted to Senior lecturer.In 2016 she was promoted to Professor.
The main theme to the research in my group is the use of computational techniques to explore the structure-function relationships of a range of biological molecules and systems. We are interested in a wide range of biologlogical molecules including membrane proteins and peptides, DNA, lipids and carbohydrates. A key aspect of our work is developing new models of bacterial membranes which incorporate their inherent complexity allowing us to bridge some of the divide that currently exists between model systems and real biology.
We are keen to exploit biological systems where appropriate, for application in bionanotechnology. This is demonstrated by our work with Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT), with whom I have been working since the company was established, initially as a consultant. Over the last 4 years, we having been working together through ONT-funded studentships and PDRAs in my group to optimises nanopores for DNA sequencing. We have developed a model protein nanopore systems that enables us to perform high throughput simulations of DNA translocation, to fine-tune the nanopores for greater accuracy and efficiency (Bond, Guy, Heron, Bayley and Khalid, Biochemistry, 2010)
School of Chemistry
University of Southampton
SO17 1 BJ