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Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84645

Prof Bill Williams

Professor in Biophysics and Soft Matter

School of Fundamental Sciences

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Not Specified 0 1
Project Leader 8 20
Team Member 2 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Optical Nano-Machines to study single-molecules

Date Range: 2018 - 2021

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: Microstructurally engineering maximally functional dairy systems using temporal pectin modification - TIF Scholarship - Aurelie Cucheval

Microstructurally engineering maximally functional dairy systems using temporal pectin modification.
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Date Range: 2006 - 2009

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Project Title: Elucidating nanomechanical structure-function relationships in Nature's structural biopolymers with single molecule stretching

To be able to imitate this natural molecular change in the construction of our own materials and devices, the structure-function relationships it exploits must be understood. Recently, the molecular origin of bio-mechanical properties has been investigated, with prototypical structuring biopolymers being stretched at the single molecule level. It has been found that certain polysaccharides, which play a major role in satisfying the structural requirements of both plant cell walls and animal connective tissues, undergo conformational transitions in their sugar rings under tension. This project will investigate how such transitions are controlled and utilised in nature.
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Date Range: 2005 - 2009

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 5 10
Co-supervisor 2 3

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Josiah Cleland - Doctor of Philosophy
    Theoretical Investigation into Long Timescale Anomalous Diffusion in Complex Viscoelastic Systems
  • Ben Westberry - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigating the slow dynamics of pectin gel networks
  • Nimisha Nimisha Mohan Das - Doctor of Philosophy
    Biophysical studies of an important processive enz yme of the plant cell wall
  • Sashikumar Ramamirtham - Doctor of Philosophy
    Rheological Studies of Interfaces Stabilized by Protein-Polymer Complexes
  • Susav Pradhan - Doctor of Philosophy
    investigating the application of controlled emulsion cell mimics for understanding cell mechanics

Co-supervisor of:

  • Sophie Burling - Doctor of Philosophy
    Innervated "muscle-on-a-chip" for improved diagnostics and investigation of neuromuscular disorders
  • Kate Andrew - Doctor of Philosophy
    Development of Optical Nano Machines for Observation of Molecules

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Sapna Ravindran - Doctor of Philosophy
    Capture Probabilities in Pair-wise Collisions of Emulsion Drops -- Measurement and Application
  • 2018 - Amir Irani - Doctor of Philosophy
    Charged polysaccharides as model polyelectrolytes: Computational studies of transport and conformational properties
  • 2018 - Pablo Hernandez Cerdan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Biopolymer networks: Image Analysis, Reconstruction and Modeling
  • 2015 - Bradley Mansel - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structure and Dynamics of Biopolymer Networks
  • 2012 - Robert Ward - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Development and Applications of a Low-Field Portable NMR system.
  • 2012 - Abdanour Fellah - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physical and Chemical Attachment of Pectins to Substrates: Methods, Characterisation and Application
  • 2011 - Erich Schuster - Doctor of Philosophy
    Hierarchical Structure Function Models of Biopolymer Networks
  • 2010 - Padmesh Anjukandi - Doctor of Philosophy
    Computational approaches to the calculation of spectroscopic, structural and mechanical properties of polysaccharide chains
  • 2010 - Aurelie Cucheval - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigations of the behaviour of pectin in casein micelle systems and their analgues
  • 2008 - Romaric Vincent - Doctor of Philosophy
    Microrheological investigations of biopolymer networks

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Christopher Lepper - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of High Pressure on DNA and its Components
  • 2010 - Cam Hoang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Mucin changes associated with abomasal parasitism in sheep
  • 2009 - Medhat Al-Ghobashy - Doctor of Philosophy
    Downstream purficiation and analysis of the recombinant human myelin basic protein produced in the milk of transgenic cows.

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