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Centre for Misfolding Diseases

I am a Research Fellow at St. John's College, Senior Schmidt Science Fellow, and post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Misfolding Diseases, Department of Chemistry. My research focusses on developing new experimental and predictive computational methods for examining the behaviour of biological molecules and systems, in particular proteins.

Proteins are the executive molecules of life that through diverse set of highly integrated and tightly regulated interactions set the molecular basis for our well-being. Yet the diverse and dynamic nature of proteins has made it challenging to devise methods that could be effectively used for understanding their roles in human health and disease. By bringing data science, machine learning, computational biology and chemistry approaches together with experimental sciences, I develop new in silico capabilities for probing the key molecular interactions that underpin biological function. I am particularly interested in modelling biomolecular phase separation and condensation processes and in understanding the biological rules and sequence grammar that govern the formation of such condensates. I further aim to understand how these systems can be modulated by small molecules as this development could open up the possibility for discovering therapeutics against biomolecular condensates and biological targets that have remained undruggable using conventional approaches.

I have co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and patents. Full list of my publications is available from:


Massively parallel C elegans tracking provides multi-dimensional fingerprints for phenotypic discovery
M Perni, PK Challa, JB Kirkegaard, R Limbocker, M Koopman, MC Hardenberg, P Sormanni, T Müller, KL Saar, LWY Roode, J Habchi, G Vecchi, N Fernando, S Casford, EAA Nollen, M Vendruscolo, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– J Neurosci Methods
Enhancing the Resolution of Micro Free Flow Electrophoresis through Spatially Controlled Sample Injection.
KL Saar, T Müller, J Charmet, PK Challa, TPJ Knowles
– Analytical chemistry
Real-Time Intrinsic Fluorescence Visualization and Sizing of Proteins and Protein Complexes in Microfluidic Devices.
PK Challa, Q Peter, MA Wright, Y Zhang, KL Saar, JA Carozza, JLP Benesch, TPJ Knowles
– Anal Chem
Microfluidic approaches for probing amyloid assembly and behaviour
TW Herling, A Levin, KL Saar, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– Lab on a chip
On-chip measurements of protein unfolding from direct observations of micron-scale diffusion
Y Zhang, EV Yates, L Hong, KL Saar, G Meisl, CM Dobson, TPJ Knowles
– Chemical science
Enhancing power density of biophotovoltaics by decoupling storage and power delivery
KL Saar, P Bombelli, DJ Lea-Smith, T Call, EM Aro, T Müller, CJ Howe, TPJ Knowles
– Nature Energy
Mechanism of biosurfactant adsorption to oil/water interfaces from millisecond scale tensiometry measurements
L Kong, KL Saar, R Jacquat, L Hong, A Levin, H Gang, R Ye, B Mu, TPJ Knowles
– Interface Focus
Gradient-free determination of isoelectric points of proteins on chip
U Łapińska, KL Saar, EV Yates, TW Herling, T Müller, PK Challa, CM Dobson, T Knowles
– Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
On-chip label-free protein analysis with downstream electrodes for direct removal of electrolysis products
KL Saar, Y Zhang, T Müller, CP Kumar, S Devenish, A Lynn, U Łapińska, X Yang, S Linse, TPJ Knowles
– Lab on a chip
Fluctuations in the Kinetics of Linear Protein Self-Assembly
TCT Michaels, AJ Dear, JB Kirkegaard, KL Saar, DA Weitz, TPJ Knowles
– Phys Rev Lett
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01223 336359

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