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Professor Tony Watts is a biophysicist who uses a range of techniques to probe the secrets of the cell wall and how it helps living organisms function. As well as being a Professor of Biochemistry, he is also Vice Principal of St Hugh’s College at the University of Oxford. Interviewed by Professor Denis Noble, also from the University of Oxford, he explains the importance of cell membranes and how they are vital to all life. His team have even managed to transfer some of the properties from bacterial cells on to a solid state device to exploit them as potential high efficiency imaging devices. Other topics of the interview include the importance of discovering new antibiotics, and the hunt for new techniques to detect bowel and other forms of cancer. The interview with Professor Watts was recorded in the University of Oxford’s new Biochemistry Building, and he has won numerous awards for his work, which span many scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry and biology.