Projects

We are keen to develop the ability for EPR spectroscopy to measure nanometre distances through application. When we find systems that could be suitable for the technique, but for a development issue, then we endeavour to tackle that.

New spin labels for cysteine rich proteins.

New spin labels for nucleic acids.

Gadolinium as a spin label.

Use of intrinsic metal centres and HiPER.

Investigating the SecYEG translocase.

How is heart muscle contraction regulated?

The conformational landscape of Nitric Oxide Synthase.

Complement protein complexes.

Collaborators

We collaborate strongly. Our colleagues include Prof Edward Anderson (Oxford), Dr Alison Hulme (Edinburgh), Dr Tilo Kunath (Edinburgh), Prof David Parker (Durham), Dr Anna Peacock (Birmingham), Prof Ian Collinson (Bristol) and Prof Mark Pfuhl (King’s College, London). Janet is a University Partner for the MAGIC Innovative Doctoral Training Programme led by Prof Nigel Scruton (Manchester).

Facilities

The facilities in St Andrews are outstanding for sample preparation and EPR instruments. As well of course as a wide ranging body of experts to talk with on all aspects.

Readily available EPR spectrometers

In Physics:

Pulsed X and high powered Q-band (Bruker) with a range of probe heads suitable for DEER, ENDOR and other measurements.

HiPER - A home built high power, wide-bandwidth W-band spectrometer.

An ActiveSpectrum X-band CW EPR spectrometer suitable for checking protein spin labelling.

In Chemistry:

CW X-band with variable temperature capabilities.

All spectrometers apart from the benchtop allow for light excitation in the cavity.

Sample preparation

The group has lab space in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) building and is part of the Biological Sciences Research Compled (BSRC). All equipment required for the mutagenesis and preparation of labelled proteins is available. Chemistry is carried out in Prof David O’Hagan’s laboratories in the School of Chemistry.