Bayley's research is largely based on the study and engineering of transmembrane pore-forming proteins, as well as interests in chemical signal transduction and biomolecular materials. He is the co-founder of Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. Bayley's research includes work on the pore-forming protein alpha hemolysin engineered for sensing has been highly cited.
Bayley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011. His nomination reads
Hagan Bayley's achievements lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. He has used protein chemistry, organic chemistry, and biophysics to explore the folding, assembly, and function of transmembrane channels and pores. These studies have led to the development of protein pores as "nanoreactors", with which both non-covalent and covalent chemistry of single molecules can be examined. Applications of this methodology have included host-guest interactions and step-by-step polymer growth. Based on this work, Bayley has developed "stochastic sensing," which has been shown with a wide variety of analytes to reveal both concentration and identity through single-molecule detection.
^Branton, D.; Deamer, D. W.; Marziali, A.; Bayley, H.; Benner, S. A.; Butler, T.; Di Ventra, M.; Garaj, S.; Hibbs, A.; Huang, X.; Jovanovich, S. B.; Krstic, P. S.; Lindsay, S.; Ling, X. S.; Mastrangelo, C. H.; Meller, A.; Oliver, J. S.; Pershin, Y. V.; Ramsey, J. M.; Riehn, R.; Soni, G. V.; Tabard-Cossa, V.; Wanunu, M.; Wiggin, M.; Schloss, J. A. (2008). "The potential and challenges of nanopore sequencing". Nature Biotechnology26 (10): 1146–1153. doi:10.1038/nbt.1495. PMC2683588. PMID18846088.
^Braha, O.; Braha, H.; Conlan, L. Q.; Cheley, S.; Bayley, S. (1999). "Stochastic sensing of organic analytes by a pore-forming protein containing a molecular adapter". Nature398 (6729): 686–690. doi:10.1038/19491. PMID10227291.