Case Study

Dr Albert Bolhuis

Adherence of pathogenic microbes to surfaces, Albert Bolhuis, PhD.

My laboratory is specialised in the design and evaluation of smart molecules for sensing and adjustment of iron with potential application as diagnostics/prognostics or photo-protectants/ therapeutics for a growing number of iron-related oxidative conditions and pathologies. With this unique expertise and several collaborative studies at the biology-chemistry interface, we have showcased multiple pioneering works based on the design and evaluation of ‘light-activatable caged-iron chelators’ and ‘mitochondria-targeted iron chelators’ for skin photoprotection against the ultraviolet A component of sunlight. My laboratory has also had strong collaborative links with Estee Lauder, Garnier/L’Oreal and Croda Europe, all interested in our light-activatable iron chelators. The mitochondria-targeted iron chelators designed by us have also demonstrated great promise for the therapy of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Friedreich’s ataxia. We have also provided proof of concept for the high sensitivity and selectivity of two generations of novel mitochondrial iron sensors which may be used as diagnostic/prognostic markers for the mitochondrial iron-overload diseases such as Friedreich’s ataxia, Wolfram Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. My major multidisciplinary grants awarded to date have all been related to the design and evaluation of smart molecules with iron chelation and/or antioxidant capacity (Welcome Trust Showcase Award, EPSRC, European Marie Curie Network FP7 People, BBSRC, British Skin Foundation/Garnier, BBSRC NIBB and Parkinson’s UK). In 2017, I launched the successful Skin@Bath Network comprised of prestigious national and international academics and clinicians, all interested in the skin damage and the therapy of skin-related disorders. The network members meet every two years in Bath (UK) as part of a two days Symposium.