Principal Research Scientist
MIT Chemistry Department
|Picture taken by Claire Gallou-Müller, Boston 2005.|
My Ph.D. dealt with methods development in both protein and small molecular crystallography:
The thesis is entitled Problems of modern high-resolution single-crystal X-ray structure analysis and investigates some of the major problems of modern X-ray structure analysis, from crystallisation through data-collection and structure refinement to model validation. Giving several examples, it shows how to handle difficult structures, and how to deal with e.g. disorder or twinning. Thus, a picture is drawn, which presents the current situation of the method of single-crystal X-ray diffraction: where is crystallography today and how can it possibly develop in the near future.
Several chapters of my Ph.D. thesis were the basis for a textbook on Structure Refinement that came out in July 2006. Check out the Oxford University Press homepage.
Since 2004 I have been the director of the chemistry department's X-ray diffraction facility at MIT.
As a crystallographer I strive to extract the best structure possible out of every crystal. Even though single crystal X-ray structure determination is in some ways a mature science, the quality of many published crystal structures leaves room for improvement ( e.g. Marsh 2004, Marsh 2003, Lutz & Spek 2004, Speck 2003). Dating back to my doctoral work in George Sheldrick's lab, one of the leading crystallographic groups in the world, I spent most of my research improving the method of X-ray crystallography. Consequently the title of my thesis was “ Problems of Modern High-Resolution Single-Crystal X-Ray Structure Determination ”. At MIT I am continuing this theme, primarily focusing on four fields: Data collection strategies, whole-molecule disorder, low-temperature phase transitions, and crystal packing.