Tim is a Todd-Bird Non-Stipendiary Junior Research Fellow (Biochemistry) at New College, and a Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford.
Phase transitions are found everywhere in nature, and I am interested in understanding how living cells harness them to generate chemically distinct subcellular environments. Whereas 2D phase transitions are thought to organise the membranes that encapsulate organelles such as lysosomes, endosomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum, 3D liquid-liquid phase transitions produce membraneless organelles such as nucleoli, Cajal bodies, P-granules and nuage. These membraneless organelles behave as tiny liquid droplets suspended inside the cell, and can rapidly condense and dissolve with changes in the cell-cycle, or in response to stresses such as viral infection. I am particularly interested in uncovering the molecular details of how membraneless organelles are formed in cells, and in how the unique solvent environment of their interior influences biochemical reactions.
Nott, T. J., Craggs, T. D. & Baldwin, A. J. (2016). Membraneless organelles can melt nucleic acid duplexes and act as biomolecular filters. Nature Chemistry, 8, 569-575.
Nott, T. J., Petsalaki, E., Farber, P., Jervis, D., Fussner, E., Plochowietz, A., ... & Baldwin, A. J. (2015). Phase transition of a disordered nuage protein generates environmentally responsive membraneless organelles. Molecular Cell, 57(5), 936-947.
Chen, C., Nott, T. J., Jin, J., & Pawson, T. (2011). Deciphering arginine methylation: Tudor tells the tale. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 12(10), 629-642.
Nott, T. J., Kelly, G., Stach, L., Li, J., Westcott, S., Patel, D., ... & Smerdon, S. J. (2009). An intramolecular switch regulates phosphoindependent FHA domain interactions in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Science Signaling, 2(63), ra12.