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Prof. Alexander McPherson
Dept. of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine
560 SH
Mail Code: 3900
Irvine, CA 92697

PHONE: (949) 824-1931

Prof. Alexander McPherson's research interests are quite diverse, though they all share a common technology, and that is X-ray diffraction analysis of protein, nucleic acid, and virus crystals. The results of these analyses are coupled with those obtained from other techniques such as atomic force microscopy, inelastic light scattering, and molecular biology to discover and describe structure–function relationships, and to deduce the architectural principles upon which they are based. Principal areas of endeavor are immunologically related proteins such as immunoglobulins and Bence-Jones proteins, and the structures of icosahedral viruses, particularly with regard the conformation of the RNA and the role it plays in viral assembly. In addition to these, there are a number of other crystallographic targets of a more general interest, as well as a continuing interest in developing methods for the crystallization of macromolecules.

As a member of CHTSB, Prof. McPherson is exploring an alternative approach for the crystallization of macromolecules based on the hypothesis that protein crystallization could be driven by the inclusion of small-molecule additives rich in hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic, and electrostatic bonding possibilities.  The goal of this research is to integrate a group of "silver bullet" cocktails into the screening solutions used by the high-throughput crystallization laboratory at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute.


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