Dr Christopher Syme
- Research Associate (Centre for Virus Research)
- Honorary Research Associate (School of Chemistry)
My research interests include the development of novel spectroscopic and imaging techniques, with a particular emphasis on Raman spectroscopy and associated techniques such as Raman optical activity (ROA), SERRS and CARS microscopy. Raman-based techniques yield a wealth of chemical and structural information without the need for labelling or modification of the sample. Raman data can be obtained non-destructively enabling studies on a vast array of samples and substrates including live cells and tissues. ROA is exquisitely sensitive to molecular chirality and is a powerful probe of biomolecular structure. Many of the most important molecules in living systems are chiral, such as amino acids, peptides and proteins, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), viral capsids and amyloid fibrillar species that are implicated in a range of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. Recent advances in technology have paved the way for the rapid development of increasingly powerful Raman-based techniques, such as coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. CARS boosts the Raman signal such that images may be collected in a fraction of the time, enabling high-resolution video-rate imaging, and opening upon a wide range of new possibilities.