Prof. Elspeth Garman
I obtained my BSc and MSc in Chemistry continuing to PhD in Structural biology at the University of Eastern Finland. With a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation to work on ‘overcoming challenges of radiation damage in macromolecular complexes at the atomic level’ I will carry out systematic studies on radiation damage to protein, DNA, protein/DNA and protein/RNA crystals during structure determination by X-ray diffraction at cryo- and room temperatures. The new electron density loss pipeline, RIDL, will be used to calculate per-atom metrics to quantify the sensitivity to specific damage. Secondly, the newly established metric, Bdamage, will be used to search for incorrect metal assignments in the PDB followed by measuring some of these proteins using the microPIXE method to unambiguously identify the metals. The results will be then used to analyse if the re-identification of the metal affects the assumed function of the chosen proteins. The third aim of the project is to further improve RADDOSE-3D, which allows the radiation dose distribution during a diffraction experiment to be calculated with both time and space resolution.
Joshua Dickerson — Improving RADDOSE-3D
I am making improvements to the group’s dose calculation software, RADDOSE-3D. My main focus is on improving the accuracy of the calculated dose by implementing a fluorescent X-ray escape model and improving and extending the current photoelectron escape model.