Leslie Lab

Fluorescently labelled DNA being trapped in nanochannels via CLiC microscopy

Research Overview

The Leslie Lab is working at the interface of physics and biology with a particular interest in quantifying single-molecule dynamics. Operating at the leading edge of the field, Dr. Sabrina Leslie and her team are pioneering high-resolution imaging techniques which support drug and vaccine discovery and development. Dr. Leslie’s research provides insights into the biophysical properties of molecules and cells with the ultimate goal of propelling quantitative health sciences forward.

Her team is developing single-molecule and single-cell imaging and analysis tools, as well as mathematical models of molecular interactions, to help guide the rational design of new therapeutic molecules and delivery vehicles. These discoveries will elucidate the process of how molecules search for and bind to a target and perform their therapeutic function in a complex living environment, with a particular focus on nucleic acid interactions and advancing genetic medicines. 

Current Research Questions

  1. How do DNA, RNA, protein and lipid macromolecules interact within the crowded environment inside cells?
  2. How can we use high-resolution measurements to optimize the therapeutic performance of macromolecules?
  3. How can high-resolution imaging studies help us understand and engineer lipid-nanoparticle delivery vehicles?

My vision is to apply ‘bottom-up’ microscopy measurements of the biophysics of interacting biomolecules, in combination with multi-level measurements (in cells and tissues, and the results of clinical trials), to accelerate and advance genetic medicines and vaccines.