La Trobe University
X-ray crystallography allows science to ‘see’ the structure of molecules so that we may better understand biological processes. Yet to collect crystallography data we need to make high-quality crystals made up of the molecules we are trying to image, and unfortunately for some molecules this can be extremely difficult.
Associate Professor Brian Abbey’s research has been critical in developing new methods to image proteins and membrane proteins with X-rays without the need for high-quality crystals. His work has made it possible to study a greater range of molecules, many of which are the target for therapeutic drugs.
Recently he also led Australia’s first ever experiment on the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, the X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) at Stanford University.
To promote his research Brian has volunteered at numerous open days at La Trobe and the Australian Synchrotron, as well has having presented to classes of high-school students and the public.