Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Research Field: Synthetic Biology, Biophysics

Dr Lawrence Lee works at the cutting-edge of synthetic biology, leading a team of scientists from across the globe. His is a world-first initiative to artificially build nature’s most impressive biological machines.

These membrane bound protein megastructures include the bacterial flagellar motor, the most sophisticated rotary motor known to science, and a molecular syringe that is used by bacteria to drill into our cells to help them survive in the body.

Lawrence and his team hope to discover the design secrets that allow nature to construct such impressive machines. This will enable science to harness the genius of nature to develop a new generation of technological devices driven by biology. Already Lawrence is investigating the potential to synthesise protein machines as immunogens that act as vaccines against harmful bacteria.

This research has translated into articles in popular newspapers and media. As well as regularly giving talks to community groups he has also been invited to address such dignitaries as Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and the NSW State Premier.