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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Elizabeth Bromley

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Lecturer in the Department of Physics
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43644
Room number: 109

(email at

Research Interests

My research centres on the biomolecular design approach to synthetic biology. Current directions include:

  • The design of a novel protein based motor that walks along DNA.
  • The design of sequences that adopt multiple native states.
  • Peptide based methods for coupling changes in chemical potential to mechanical outputs.
  • Understanding the energy landscape of coiled-coil oligomerization. 
  • The design of self-assembling fibre systems.

 For further information please see here.

Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

  • Experimental biomolecular design approach to molecular biology
  • Experimental Soft Matter

Department of Physics

Teaching Areas

  • Level 2 Practical Atomic Spectra (24 hours/year.)
  • Level 2 Practical Optical Rotation (24 hours/year.)


Journal Article

  • Small, Lara S. R., Bruning, Marc, Thomson, Andrew R., Boyle, Aimee L., Davies, Roberta B., Curmi, Paul M. G., Forde, Nancy R., Linke, Heiner, Woolfson, Derek N. & Bromley, Elizabeth H. C. (2017). Construction of a chassis for a tripartite protein-based molecular motor. ACS Synthetic Biology 6(6): 1096-1102.
  • Sturala, Jiri, Etherington, Marc K., Bismillah, Aisha N, Higginbotham, Heather F., Trewby, William J., Aguilar, Juan A., Bromley, Elizabeth H. C., Avestro, Alyssa-Jennifer, Monkman, Andrew P. & McGonigal, Paul R. (2017). Excited-State Aromatic Interactions in the Aggregation-Induced Emission of Molecular Rotors. Journal of the American Chemical Society 139(49): 17882-17889.
  • Bolt, H. L., Williams, C. E. J., Brooks, R. V., Zuckermann, R. N., Cobb, S. L. & Bromley, E. H. C. (2017). Log D versus HPLC derived hydrophobicity: The development of predictive tools to aid in the rational design of bioactive peptoids. Peptide Science 108(4): e23014.
  • Phang, J. M., Harrop, S. J., Duff, A. P., Sokolova, A. V., Crossett, B. Walsh, J. C., Beckham, S. A., Nguyen, C. D., Davies, R. B. Glöckner, C., Bromley, E. H. C. , Wilk, K. E. & Curmi, P. M. G. (2016). Structural characterization suggests models for monomeric and dimeric forms of full-length ezrin. Biochemical Journal 473(18): 2763-2782.
  • Zuckermann, M.J., Angstmann, C.N., Schmitt, R., Blab, G.A., Bromley, E.H.C., Forde, N.R., Linke, H. & Curmi, P.M.G. (2015). Motor properties from persistence: a linear molecular walker lacking spatial and temporal asymmetry. New Journal of Physics 17(5): 055017.
  • Kovacic, S., Samii, L., Lamour, G. Li, H., Linke, H., Bromley, E. H. C., Woolfson, D. N., Curmi, P. M. G. & Forde, N. R. (2014). Construction and Characterization of Kilobasepair Densely Labeled Peptide-DNA. Biomacromolecules 15(11): 4065.
  • Fletcher, JM, Boyle, AL, Bruning, M, Bartlett, GJ, Vincent, TL, Zaccai, NR, Armstrong, CT, Bromley, EHC, Booth, PJ, Brady, RL, Thomson, AR & Woolfson, DN (2012). A Basis Set of de Novo Coiled-Coil Peptide Oligomers for Rational Protein Design and Synthetic Biology. American Chemical Society Synthetic Biology 1(6): 240-250.
  • Boyle, AL, Bromley, EHC, Bartlett, GJ, Sessions, RB, Sharp, TH, Williams, CL, Curmi, PMG, Forde, NR, Linke, H & Woolfson, DN (2012). Squaring the Circle in Peptide Assembly: From Fibers to Discrete Nanostructures by de Novo Design. Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(37): 15457–15467.
  • Fonseca, F., Arthur, C. J., Bromley, E. H. C., Samyn, B., Moerman, P., Saavedra, M. J., Correia, A. & Spencer, J. (2011). Biochemical Characterization of Sfh-I, a Subclass B2 Metallo-beta-Lactamase from Serratia fonticola UTAD54. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 55(11): 5392-5395.
  • Fonseca, F., Bromley, E. H. C., Saavedra, M. J., Correia, A. & Spencer, J. (2011). Crystal Structure of Serratia fonticola Sfh-I: Activation of the Nucleophile in Mono-Zinc Metallo-beta-Lactamases. Journal of Molecular Biology 411(5): 951-959.
  • Xiong, X. L., Bromley, E. H. C., Oelschlaeger, P., Woolfson, D. N. & Spencer, J. (2011). Structural insights into quinolone antibiotic resistance mediated by pentapeptide repeat proteins: conserved surface loops direct the activity of a Qnr protein from a Gram-negative bacterium. Nucleic Acids Research 39(9): 3917-3927.
  • Samii, L., Blab, G. A., Bromley, E. H. C., Linke, H., Curmi, P. M. G., Zuckermann, M. J. & Forde, N. R. (2011). Time-dependent motor properties of multipedal molecular spiders. Physical Review E 84(3): 031111.
  • Kuwada, N. J., Zuckermann, M. J., Bromley, E. H. C., Sessions, R. B., Curmi, P. M. G., Forde, N. R., Woolfson, D. N. & Linke, H. (2011). Tuning the performance of an artificial protein motor. Physical Review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics 84(3): 031922.
  • Bromley, E. H. C., Channon, K. J., King, P. J. S. Mahmoud, Z. N., Banwell, E. F., Butler, M. F., Crump, M. P., Dafforn, T. R. Hicks, M. R., Hirst, J. D., Rodger, A. & Woolfson, D. N. (2010). Assembly Pathway of a Designed α-Helical Protein Fiber. Biophysical Journal 98(8): 1668-1676.
  • Bromley, EHC, Sessions, RB, Thomson, AR & Woolfson, DN (2009). Designed alpha-Helical Tectons for Constructing Multicomponent Synthetic Biological Systems. Journal Of The American Chemical Society 131(3): 928-930.
  • Bulheller, BM, Rodger, A, Hicks, MR, Dafforn, TR, Serpell, LC, Marshall, KE, Bromley, EHC, King, PJS, Channon, KJ, Woolfson, DN & Hirst, JD (2009). Flow Linear Dichroism of Some Prototypical Proteins. Journal Of The American Chemical Society 131(37): 13305-13314.
  • Armstrong, CT, Boyle, AL, Bromley, EHC, Mahmoud, ZN, Smith, L, Thomson, AR & Woolfson, DN (2009). Rational design of peptide-based building blocks for nanoscience and synthetic biology. Faraday Discussions 143: 305-317.
  • Bromley, EHC, Kuwada, NJ, Zuckermann, MJ, Donadini, R, Samii, L, Blab, GA, Gemmen, GJ, Lopez, BJ, Curmi, PMG, Forde, NR, Woolfson, DN & Linke, H (2009). The Tumbleweed: towards a synthetic protein motor. Hfsp Journal 3(3): 204-212.
  • Papapostolou, D, Bromley, EHC, Bano, C & Woolfson, DN (2008). Electrostatic control of thickness and stiffness in a designed protein fiber. Journal Of The American Chemical Society 130(15): 5124-5130.
  • Gribbon, C, Channon, KJ, Zhang, WJ, Banwell, EF, Bromley, EHC, Chaudhuri, JB, Oreffo, ROC & Woolfson, DN (2008). MagicWand: A single, designed peptide that assembles to stable, ordered alpha-helical fibers. Biochemistry 47(39): 10365-10371.
  • Bromley, EHC, Channon, K, Moutevelis, E & Woolfson, DN (2008). Peptide and protein building blocks for synthetic biology: From programming biomolecules to self-organized biomolecular systems. ACS Chemical Biology 3(1): 38-50.
  • Channon, K, Bromley, EHC & Woolfson, DN (2008). Synthetic biology through biomolecular design and engineering. Current Opinion In Structural Biology 18(4): 491-498.
  • Bromley, EHC, Krebs, MRH & Donald, AM (2006). Mechanisms of structure formation in particulate gels of beta-lactoglobulin formed near the isoelectric point. European Physical Journal E 21(2): 145-152.
  • Rogers, SS, Krebs, MRH, Bromley, EHC, van der Linden, E & Donald, AM (2006). Optical microscopy of growing insulin amyloid spherulites on surfaces in vitro. Biophysical Journal 90(3): 1043-1054.
  • Bromley, EHC, Krebs, MRH & Donald, AM (2005). Aggregation across the length-scales in beta-lactoglobulin. Faraday Discussions 128: 13-27.
  • Keetch, CA, Bromley, EHC, McCammon, MG, Wang, N, Christodoulou, J & Robinson, CV (2005). L55P transthyretin accelerates subunit exchange and leads to rapid formation of hybrid tetramers. Journal Of Biological Chemistry 280(50): 41667-41674.
  • Krebs, MRH, Bromley, EHC & Donald, AM (2005). The binding of thioflavin-T to amyloid fibrils: localisation and implications. Journal Of Structural Biology 149(1): 30-37.
  • Krebs, MRH, Bromley, EHC, Rogers, SS & Donald, AM (2005). The mechanism of amyloid spherulite formation by bovine insulin. Biophysical Journal 88(3): 2013-2021.
  • Bromley, EHC & Hopkinson, I (2002). Confocal microscopy of a dense particle system. Journal Of Colloid And Interface Science 245(1): 75-80.