Research

My group at Diamond Light Source is working on methods and technique development aimed at increasing the impact of macromolecular crystallography on structural biology.

Software Development

We develop the DIALS software for the analysis of crystal diffraction data, collaborating mainly with Nick Sauter’s group from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. In addition, and in collaboration with CCP4, my group is developing autonomous data analysis pipelines based on machine learning systems. I still support the program Chooch which is now distributed by CCP4.

Tomography and radiography for crystal location and characterisation

A Warren, D Axford, G Evans

The location and characterisation of membrane protein crystals mounted within Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) material typically involves diffraction raster scanning that exposed the crystal to X-rays before data collection. We have develop a method to expose using very low doses and determine more precisely where crystals are as well as gaining insight into their size and shape. This enables users to better match the X-ray beam size and shape to that of the crystal thereby optimising the signal to noise ratio in the diffraction data.

Collaborations

Membrane Protein Laboratory at Diamond

Together with So Iwata and Isabel de Moraes from Imperial College London I am a co-applicant on a Wellcome Trust grant to fund the Membrane Protein Laboratory at Diamond Light Source (MPL video). The lab was conceived in order to increase the rate of crystal production of membrane proteins, a medically important class of proteins, by siting it within the Diamond synchrotron directly next to the I24 microfocus beamline. The collaboration between I24 and the MPL has resulted in a novel early stage facility for membrane protein crystallization.