Interdisciplinarity · Medical DNA Nanotechnology · Electrosynbionics

Katherine Dunn

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Show Notes

Join the molpigs team for a discussion with Prof. Katherine Dunn from the University of Edinburgh about her work on using DNA nanotechnology for medical applications and her exciting new ideas regarding "electrosynbionics," using biological engineering to tackle hard problems in energy production and storage. She also discusses her experiences transitioning from terahertz spectroscopy to biophysics and the challenges in teaching and mentoring students to prepare them for a variety of career paths in today's interdisciplinary world.


After completing the four year MPhys course at Oxford and achieving a First, Katherine stayed on to carry out research for her DPhil, initially in the field of Terahertz Spectroscopy before switching fields to biological physics after 18 months. After her earning her PhD 2014, Katherine went to York to take up an appointment as a Research Associate in the Department of Electronic Engineering, working primarily on synthetic DNA nanomachines in the context of bioelectronic computing.

She joined the School of Engineering at Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 2017 and has recently been promoted to senior lecturer affiliated with the discipline of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Institute for Bioengineering, where she carries out research in the area of Synthetic Biology.

Katherine was named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering 2021 by the Women's Engineering Society. Shortly thereafter, she was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and took up the role of Degree Programme Manager for Mechanical Engineering in February 2022.