Vanessa Bonnard
Biography and Research interests
PDRA 2010-2011

Research Scientist Pharma Diagnostics, Belgium [link]

I joined the Burley group in the Department of Chemistry (University of Leicester) in 2010 as a post-doctoral research associate to work on the area of DNA nanotechnology.

Previously, I completed my PhD in the Laboratory of Chemistry of Bioactive Molecules and Flavours (LCMBA – Antiviral and Antitumoral group), in Nice (France). During my PhD, I designed and developed Polyamide Amino Acids as a novel family of RNA ligands. I specialised in solid phase peptide synthesis as well as in biophysical techniques (Fluorescence spectroscopy) to evaluate Ligand/RNA interactions. My current project focus is to design new approaches for the construction of molecular electronic and diagnostic devices. This challenging and multidisciplinary project leads me to work at the interface of chemistry, physics and materials. This project is also part of collaboration with Dr Rant’s team from Walter Schottky Institute at the Technical University in Munich.

I am especially interested in developing monofunctionalised-DNA gold nanoparticle conjugates with the objective to extend that functionalisation to any biomolecule of interest using further conjugation chemistry.

This tool could be of great interest for controlled deposition of metal nanoparticles along a 3D DNA architecture based on specific interaction between the biomolecule and the DNA. Moreover, used as biosensor in cutting-edge technology it could contribute to the development of novel medical diagnostic devices. I am also interested in new DNA-peptide bioconjugation methods using copper-free click chemistry procedures.