Liz Duke is the Principal Beamline Scientist for Beamlines I02, and I03 which are dedicated to macromolecular crystallography. Prior to joining Diamond Liz was a beamline scientist on the SRS at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. Whilst working there Liz was closely involved in the construction and operation of several beamlines for MX, including the implementation of an automated sample mounting system which enables users to study a larger number of samples during their time on the beamline. She is a visiting Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford.
Key Research Interests
Beamline instrumentation, beamline automation
Current Research Interests
X-ray crystallography is a key tool in the study of structure-function relationships of biological molecules, and has applications in most areas of biology, such as macromolecular assemblies, cell cycle progression, regulation of gene expression, viruses, rational drug design, the immune system and genomics. In structural biology a revolution is underway in terms of both the number and complexity of biological macromolecules for which structural information at atomic resolution is becoming available. UK research groups are at the forefront of this work, actively carrying out research over wide areas of structural biology. The development of automated macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines, with associated instrumentation, is crucial to supporting this work.
The ability to obtain only small crystals of biological systems is becoming an increasingly common problem in all areas of macromolecular crystallography as scientists work on more and more challenging systems. Additionally it is frustratingly easy to grow large crystals in one dimension but the other two dimensions are less than 20µm in size (needles and plates). Collecting data on these types of crystals is exceedingly difficult, demanding much patience from the experimenter. Synchrotron beamlines with instrumentation dedicated to making the challenges surmountable have gone a long way to ensuring that some spectacular results have been achieved.
To meet the demanding requirements of the user community, research has been dedicated to optimising the efficiency and productiveness of the MX beamlines. A key area has been the development of robotic sample handling and automated crystal centring, supported by efficient and streamlined data collection. Enabling remote operation will further enhance the performance of the beamlines and will be crucial to the development of the I03 beamline as a facility allowing examination of category 3 pathogenic samples.
- "Automation of the collection and processing of X-ray diffraction data - a generic approach", Leslie AGW, Powell HR, Winter G, Svensson O, Spruce D, McSweeney S, Love D, Kinder S, Duke E, Nave C, Acta Crystallographica Section D-Biological Crystallography, 58: 1924-1928 Part 11, (2002)
- "The high-resolution crystal structure of the molybdate-dependent transcriptional regulator (ModE) from Escherichia coli: a novel combination of domain folds", Hall DR, Gourley DG, Leonard GA, Duke EMH, Anderson LA, Boxer DH, Hunter WN, EMBO Journal, 18 (6): 1435-1446 (1999)
- "Beamline 14: a new multipole wiggler beamline for protein crystallography on the SRS", Duke EMH, Kehoe RC, Rizkallah PJ, Clarke JA, Nave C, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 5: 497-499 Part 3, (1998)
- "Evaluation of Laue diffraction patterns", Clifton IJ, Duke EMH, Wakatsuki S, Ren Z, Macromolecular Crystallography Pt B: Methods in Enzymology, 277: 448-467 (1997)
- "PXGEN: A general-purpose graphical user interface for protein crystallography experimental control and data acquisition", Kinder SH, McSweeney SM, Duke EMH, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 3: 296-300 Part 6, (1996)