Dr Matthew Baker

Biophysics and Bacteriology
University of New South Wales

Dr Baker focuses on one of the pinnacles of evolution: the bacteria flagellar motor, an electric motor a millionth the size of a grain of sand can build itself, rotate five times faster than a Formula1 engine. His project uses pioneering methods in synthetic biology to template and shape the assembly of the molecular machine. Building a motor from its components means they can simplify, learn from and manipulate the motor with unprecedented dexterity. Understanding how this intricate nanomachinery functions will usher in the next era of nanotechnology. Dr Baker’s objective is to unlock nature’s blueprints to enable the design of bespoke molecular machines that can provide medical, technological and environmental benefits.

In 2015, Matthew was an ABC Top 5 Under 40 award winner giving him the chance to be embedded at the ABC, subsequently appearing in multiple interviews on the Science Show. He has performed science-comedy and science-poetry at music festivals in the UK such as at the Solar Stage at the Green Man Festival in Wales. In Australia, he has presented at Nerd Nite and on 2 panels as part of the Sydney Science Festival.