Virus crystallography and structural virology: a personal perspective

Published on Jan 2, 2015in Crystallography Reviews2.667
· DOI :10.1080/0889311X.2014.957282
Michael G. Rossmann109
Estimated H-index: 109
(Purdue University)
My first experiences with crystallography were as a graduate student at the University of Glasgow determining the structure of aromatic hydrocarbons using only primitive hand calculation techniques. I had my first experience using electronic computers as a post-doc in the lab of William Lipscomb in Minnesota. That gave me a good preparation for the structure determination of haemoglobin with Max Perutz in Cambridge. The discovery of the conserved globin fold had a major impact on my subsequent activities. It also provided the foundation for the development of the molecular replacement method and non-crystallographic symmetry electron density averaging that was essential for the structure determination of simple icosahedral viruses. The structure determination of a common cold virus was also a major stimulus for the study of more complex viruses and the development of the use of cryo-electron microscopy. This provided the basis for the investigation of lipid-enveloped viruses such as Sindbis virus and deng...
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