Technology and Research Platforms

Structural Biology


The Structural Biology Platform supports cutting edge science at the John Innes Centre through the provision of facilities and expertise in protein X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

Structural Biology research impacts upon food security, human health, and the environment by providing deep insights into enzymology, macromolecular interactions, ligand binding, evolution and the consequences of mutations.

For protein crystallography, we provide a range of pre-aliquoted screens enabling the trouble-free setup of crystallisation trials using crystallisation robots; a plate imager is used to screen these experiments, allowing the rapid identification of suitable crystallisation conditions. The Platform has regular access to macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Diamond Light Source for X-ray data collection, and can assist with data collection, processing and analysis.

We also determine macromolecular structures using cryo-EM in conjunction with the JIC Bioimaging platform, which provides expertise and facilities for data collection. Additionally, we have regular access to microscopes at the electron BioImaging Centre for high resolution data collection. The Structural Biology Platform provides computing resources and expertise for the processing and analysis of these data.

Secondary activities include assistance with Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), structure prediction and docking, as well as the provision of general structural biology advice.

If you are interested in using the Structural Biology Platform, contact David Lawson or Julia Mundy to discuss what you would like to achieve. We will offer advice on likely costs, timescales and feasibility.