Edward Snell, PhD

We hope our work will make as much difference in biological science as the development of motion pictures did for entertainment. We know that an understanding of dynamics is key to knowledge of mechanism and may open the door for a whole knew class of allosteric pharmaceuticals - pharmaceuticals that stop the bad functions, i.e. throwing a wrench in the gears.
Some say "if it moves, it must be biology". This is very true and very exciting from the point of view of health. My laboratory works on techniques to enable the study of dynamics in biology. We produce beautiful snapshots of proteins and complexes, the machinery of life, but that is only a glimpse of ho this machinery functions. We study how to improve our success in getting these snapshots through crystallization, we explore movement that may be trapped through studying our targets outside of crystals, and we use complementary techniques to visualize dynamics at an atomic scale. Pharmaceuticals act on the same scale as the targets we study. IF we take the example of a hand and only know it's shape as a fist, we would never consider that a glove could fit it. If we understand the hand's motion, we know that the glove will fit. By studying the motion and function of the bodies machinery we may be able to greatly extend the number and type of pharmaceuticals than can be used to treat and perhaps cure disease. We are developing the tools to do that. We combine a group of biologists, physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists and work extensively with national and international partners. It's not an institute centric effort but one that harnesses many different experimental skills to produce a complete picture of dynamics.

Computational crystallization. Altan I, Charbonneau P, Snell EH. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016 Jul 15;602:12-20. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2016.01.004. Epub 2016 Jan 11.


The detection and subsequent volume optimization of biological nanocrystals. Luft JR, Wolfley JR, Franks EC, Lauricella AM, Gualtieri EJ, Snell EH, Xiao R, Everett JK, Montelione GT. Struct Dyn. 2015 May 15;2(4):041710. doi: 10.1063/1.4921199. eCollection 2015 Jul.

The structure of the PanD/PanZ protein complex reveals negative feedback regulation of pantothenate biosynthesis by coenzyme A. Monteiro DC, Patel V, Bartlett CP, Nozaki S, Grant TD, Gowdy JA, Thompson GS, Kalverda AP, Snell EH, Niki H, Pearson AR, Webb ME. Chem Biol. 2015 Apr 23;22(4):492-503. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.03.017.

The accurate assessment of small-angle X-ray scattering data. Grant TD, Luft JR, Carter LG, Matsui T, Weiss TM, Martel A, Snell EH. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2015 Jan 1;71(Pt 1):45-56. doi: 10.1107/S1399004714010876. Epub 2015 Jan 1.


A hybrid NMR/SAXS-based approach for discriminating oligomeric protein interfaces using Rosetta. Rossi P, Shi L, Liu G, Barbieri CM, Lee HW, Grant TD, Luft JR, Xiao R, Acton TB, Snell EH, Montelione GT, Baker D, Lange OF, Sgourakis NG. Proteins. 2015 Feb;83(2):309-17. doi: 10.1002/prot.24719. Epub 2014 Dec 19.

Identifying, studying and making good use of macromolecular crystals. Calero G, Cohen AE, Luft JR, Newman J, Snell EH. Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 2014 Aug 1;70(Pt 8):993-1008. Epub 2014 Jul 25. PMID: 2508437

Crystallization screening: the influence of history on current practice. Luft JR, Newman J, Snell EH.Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 2014 Jul;70(Pt 7):835-53. Epub 2014 Jun 27. PMID: 25005076

Statistical analysis of crystallization database links protein physico-chemical features with crystallization mechanisms. Fusco D, Barnum TJ, Bruno AE, Luft JR, Snell EH, Mukherjee S, Charbonneau P.PLoS One. 2014 Jul 2;9(7):e101123. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24988076

Comparing chemistry to outcome: the development of a chemical distance metric, coupled with clustering and hierarchal visualization applied to macromolecular crystallography. Bruno AE, Ruby AM, Luft JR, Grant TD, Seetharaman J, Montelione GT, Hunt JF, Snell EH.PLoS One. 2014 Jun 27;9(6):e100782. eCollection 2014. PMID: 24971458

A new view on crystal harvesting. Luft JR, Grant TD, Wolfley JR, Snell EH. J Appl Crystallogr. 2014 May 29;47(Pt 3):1158-1161. eCollection 2014 Jun 1. PMID: 24904250

Optical measurements of long-range protein vibrations. Acbas, G., Niessen, K.A., Snell E.H. and Markelz, A.G. Nat Commun. 5, 3076 (2014).

Neutron structure of the cyclic glucose bound xylose isomerase E186Q mutant. Munshi, P., Snell, E.H., van der Woerd, M.J., Judge, R.A., Myles, D.A., Ren, Z. and Meilleur, F. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 70, 414-420 (2014).


Insights into the mechanism of X-ray-induced disulfide-bond cleavage in lysozyme crystals based on EPR, optical absorption and X-ray diffraction studies. Sutton, K.A., Black, P.J., Mercer, K.R., Garman, E.F., Owen, R.L., Snell, E.H. and Bernhard, W.A. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 69, 2381-2394 (2013).

The structure of yeast glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase and modeling of its interaction with tRNA. Grant, T.D., Luft, J.R., Wolfley, J.R., Snell, M.E., Tsuruta, H., Corretore, S., Quarterly, E., Phizicky, E., Grayhack, E.J. and Snell, E.H. J Mol Biol. 425, 2480-2493 (2013).

Purification and SAXS analysis of the integrin linked kinase, PINCH, parvin (IPP) heterotrimeric complex. Stiegler, A.L., Grant, T.D, Luft, J.R., Calderwood, D.A., Snell, E.H. and Boggon, T.J. PLoS One, 8, e55591 (2013).


On the need for an international effort to capture, share and use crystallization screening data. Newman, J., Bolton, E.E., Müller-Dieckmann, J., Fazio, V.J., Gallagher, D.T., Lovell, D., Luft, J.R., Peat, T.S., Ratcliffe, D., Sayle, R.A., Snell, E.H., Taylor, K., Vallotton, P., Velanker, S. and von Delft F. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 68, 253-258 (2012).

Structural conservation of an ancient tRNA sensor in eukaryotic glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase. Grant, T.D., Snell, E.H., Luft, J.R., Quartley, E., Corretore, S., Wolfley, J.R., Snell, M.E., Hadd, A., Perona, J.J., Phizicky, E.M. and Grayhack, E.J. Nucleic Acids Res. 40, 3723-3731 (2012).


Small angle x-ray scattering as a complementary tool for high-throughput structural studies. Grant, T., Luft, J.R, Wolfley, J.R., Tsuruta, H., Martel, A., Montelione, G.T and Snell, E.H., Biopolymers, 95, 517-530 (2011).

Lessons from high-throughput protein crystallization screening: 10 years of practical experience. Luft, J.R., Snell, E.H. and DeTitta, G.T. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 6, 465-480 (2011).

What’s in a drop? Correlating observations and outcomes to guide macromolecular crystallization experiments. Luft, J.R., Wolfley, J.R. and Snell, E.H. Crystal Growth Des. 11, 651-663 (2011).


Crystal cookery – using high-throughput technologies and the grocery store as a teaching tool. Luft, J.R., Furlani, N.M., NeMoyer, R.E., Penna, E.J., Wolfley, J.R., Snell, M.E., Potter, S.A. and Snell, E.H. J Appl Crystallogr. 43, 1189-1207 (2010).

Macromolecular Crystallization and Crystal Perfection. Chayen, N.E., Helliwell, J.R. and Snell E.H. IUCr Monographs in Crystallography Number 24, Oxford University Press (2010).


Sliding clamp-DNA interactions are required for viability and contribute to DNA polymerase management in Escherichia coli. Heltzel, J.M., Scouten Ponticelli, S.K., Sanders, L.H., Duzen, J.M., Cody, V., Pace, J., Snell, E.H. and Sutton, M.D. J Mol Biol. 387, 74-91 (2009).


The application and use of chemical space mapping to interpret crystallization screening results. Snell, E.H., Nagel, R.M., Wojtaszcyk, A., O'Neill, H., Wolfley, J.L. and Luft, J.R. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 64, 1240-1249 (2008).

Glycerol concentrations required for the successful vitrification of cocktail conditions in a high-throughput crystallization screen. Kempkes, R., Stofko, E., Lam, K. and Snell, E.H. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 64, 287-301 (2008).

AutoSherlock: a program for effective crystallization data analysis. Nagel, R. M., Luft, J.R. and Snell, E.H. J Appl Crystallog. 41, 1173-1176 (2008).

Establishing a training set through the visual analysis of crystallization trials part II: Crystal examples. Snell, E.H., Lauricella, A.M., Potter, S.A., Luft, J.R., Gulde, S.M., Collins, R.J., Franks, G., Malkowski, M.G., Cumbaa, C., Jurisica, I. and DeTitta, G.T. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 64, 1131-1137 (2008).

Establishing a training set through the visual analysis of crystallization trials part I: ~150,000 images. Snell, E.H., Luft, J.R., Potter, S.A., Lauricella, A.M., Gulde, S.M., Malkowski, M.G., Koszelak-Rosenblum, M., Said, M., Smith, J.L., Veatch, C.K., Collins, R.J., Franks, G., Thayer, M., Cumbaa, C., Jurisica, I. and DeTitta, G.T. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 64, 1123-1130 (2008).


Changes to crystals of Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase during room-temperature/low-temperature cycling and their relation to cryo-annealing. Juers, D.H., Lovelace, J., Bellamy, H.D., Snell, E.H., Matthews, B.M. and Borgstahl, G.E. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 63, 1139-1153 (2007).

Structure of the full-length human RPA14/32 complex gives insights into the mechanism of DNA binding and complex formation. Deng, X., Habel, J.E., Kabaleeswaran, V., Snell, E.H., Wold, M.S. and Borgstahl, G.E. J Mol Biol. 374, 865-876 (2007).

Efficient optimization of crystallization conditions by manipulation of drop volume ratio and temperature. Luft, J.R., Wolfley, J.R., Said, M.I., Nagel, R.M., Lauricella, A.M., Smith, J.L., Thayer, M.H., Veatch, C.K., Snell, E.H., Malkowski, M.G. and Detitta, G.T. Protein Sci. 16, 715-722 (2007).


A Quasi-Laue Neutron Crystallographic Study of D-Xylose Isomerase, Meilleur, F., Snell, E.H. Mark J. van der Woerd, M.J., Damon, M., Judge, R.A., and Myles, D.A.A. European Journal of Biophysics 35, 601-609 (2006).

Optimizing crystal volume for neutron diffraction: Xylose Isomerase, Snell, E.H. Mark J. van der Woerd, M.J., Damon, M., Judge, R.A., Myles, D.A.A. and Meilleur, F. European Journal of Biophysics 35, 621-632 (2006).


Extracting trends from two decades of microgravity macromolecular crystallization history. Judge, R.A., Snell, E.H. and van der Woerd, M.J. Acta Cryst. D61, 763-771 (2005).

Finding a cold needle in a warm haystack: Infrared imaging applied to locating cryocooled crystals. Snell, E.H., van der Woerd, M.J., Miller, M.D. and Deacon, A.M. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 38, 69-77 (2005).

Macromolecular Crystallization in Microgravity. Snell, E.H. and Helliwell, J.R. Reports on Progress in Physics, 68, 799-853 (2005).


First results of digital topography applied to macromolecular crystals. Lovelace, J.J., Soares, A., Bellamy, H.D., Sweet, R.M., Snell, E.H. and Borgstahl, G.E.O. J. Applied Crystallography 37, 481-485 (2004).

Imaging modulated reflections from a semi-crystalline state of profiling:actin. Lovelace, J.J., Narayan, K., Chik, J.K., Bellamy, H.D., Snell, E.H., Lindberg, U., Schutt, C.E. and Borgstahl, G.E.O. J. Applied Crystallography 37, 327-330 (2004).


Physical and Structural Studies on the Cryocooling of Insulin Crystals. Vahedi-Faridi, A., Lovelace, J., Bellamy, H.D., Snell, E.H., and Borgstahl, G.E.O. Acta Cryst.D59, 2169-2182 (2003).

Macromolecular Crystal Quality. Methods in Enzymology, Snell, E.H., Borgstahl, G.E.O. and Bellamy, H.D. Macromolecular Crystallography Part C, Volume 368, Edited by Charles W. Carter and Robert M. Sweet, 268-288 (2003).


Seeing the heat: Preliminary studies of cryocrystallography using infrared imaging. Snell, E.H., Judge, R.A, Larson, M. and van der Woerd, M. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 9, 361-367 (2002).

The development and application of a method to quantify the quality of cryoprotectant conditions using standard area detector X-ray images. McFerrin, M. and Snell, E.H. J. Appl. Cryst. 35, 538-545 (2002).

Thaumatin crystallization aboard the international space station using liquid-liquid diffusion in the enhanced gaseous nitrogen dewar (EGN). Barnes, C.L., Snell, E.H. and Kundrot, C.E. Acta Cryst. D78, 751-760 (2002).

Free-falling crystals: Biological macromolecular crystal growth studies in low earth orbit. Judge, R.A., Snell, E.H. and Pusey, M.L. Dev. Chem. Eng. Mineral Process. 10(5/6) 479-488 (2002).

Fluid Flows and Macromolecular Growth in Microgravity, Helliwell, J.R., Snell, E.H. and Chayen, N.E., Judge, R.A., Boggon, T.J. & Pusey, M.L. Published in Physics of Fluids in Microgravity, ch 14, pages 489-514. Taylor and Francis. Editor, R. Monti (2002).


A test of macromolecular crystallization in microgravity: Large, well-ordered insulin crystals. Borgstahl, G.E.O., Vahedi-Fardi, A., Lovelace, J., Bellamy, H. & Snell, E.H. Acta Cryst, D57, 1204-1207 (2001).

Investigating the effect of impurities on macromolecule crystal growth in microgravity. Snell, E.H., Judge, R.A., Crawford, L., Forsythe, E.L., Pusey, M.L., Sportiello, M., Todd, P., Bellamy, H., Lovelace, J., Cassanto, Borgstahl, G.E.O. Crystal Growth and Design, 1, 2, 151-158 (2001).

Microgravity and Macromolecualr Crystallography. Kundrot, C.E., Judge, R.A., Pusey, M.L., & Snell, E.H. Crystal Growth and Design. Crystal Growth and Design, 1, 87-99 (2001).


The High Mosaicity Illusion: Revealing the true physical quality of macromolecular crystals. Bellamy, H., Snell, E.H., Lovelace, J., Pokross, M. & Borgstahl, G.E.O. Acta Cryst. D56, 986-995 (2000).

BEAM-ish: A graphical user interface for the physical characterization of macromolecular crystals. Lovelace, J, Snell, E.H., Pokross, M, Arvai, A., Nielsen, C., Nguyen, X., Bellamy, H. & Borgstahl, G.E.O. J. Applied Crystallography, 33, 1187-1188 (2000).

Synchrotron X-ray reciprocal space mapping, topography and diffraction resolution studies of macromolecular crystal quality. Boggon, T.J, Helliwell, J.R., Judge, R.A., Olczak, A., Siddons, D.P., Snell, E.H. and Stojanoff, V. Acta Cryst. D56, 868-880 (2000).

Cryotrapping of the six-coordinate, distorted-octahedral active site of Manganese superoxide dismutase. Borgstahl, G.E.O., Pokros, M., Chehab, R., Krishnamurthy, R., Sekher and Snell, E.H. J.of Mol. Bio, 296, 951-959 (2000).


The effect of temperature and solution pH on lysozyme nucleation. Judge, R.A., Frazier, T., Jacobs, R., Pusey, M.L., Snell, E.H. Biophysical J. 77, 1585-1593 (1999).

Crystallization of chicken egg white lysozyme from assorted sulphate salts. E.L. Forsythe, E.H. Snell, C.C. Malone and M.L. Pusey. J.Cryst. Growth, 196, 332-343. (1999).

Crystallization of biological molecules in microgravity. Snell, E.H., Chayen, N.E. and Helliwell, J.R. The Biochemist, Vol 21, 6, 19-24 (1999).


Protein crystal movements and fluid flows during microgravity growth. Boggon, T.J., Chayen, N.E., Snell, E.H., Dong, J., Lautenschlager, P., Potthast, L., Siddons, D.P., Stojanoff, V., Gordon, E., Thompson, A.W., Zagalsky, P.F., Bi, R-C, & Helliwell, J.R. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A.356, 1045-1061 (1998).

Quality evaluation of macromolecular crystals using X-ray mosaicity measurements. Snell, E.H. Proceedings of the Montreal Spacebound 1997 meeting, Canadian Space Agency, 306-315. (1998).

Stationary crystal diffraction with a monochromatic convergent x-ray source and application for macromolecular crystal data collection. Ho, J.X., Snell, E.H., Sisk, C., Ruble, J.R., Carter, D.C., Owens, S.M. & Gibson, W.M. Acta Cryst. D54, 200-214 (1998).


Crystallization of chicken egg-white lysozyme from ammonium sulphate. Forsythe, E.L., Snell, E.H., Pusey, M.L. Acta Cryst. D53, 795-797 (1997).

CCD video observation of microgravity crystallization of lysozyme and correlation with accelerometer data. Snell, E.H., Boggon, T.J., Helliwell, J.R., Moskowitz , M.E. , & Nadarajah, A. Acta Cryst. D53, 747-755 (1997)

Partial improvement of crystal quality for microgravity grown apocrustacyanin C1. Snell, E.H., Cassetta, A., Helliwell, J.R., Boggon, T.J., Chayen, N.E., Weckert, E., Hölzer, K. , Schroer, K., Gordon, E.J. & Zagalsky, P.F. Acta Cryst. D53, 231-239 (1997).

CCD video observation of microgravity crystallization: apocrustacyanin C1. Chayen, N.E., Snell, E.H., Helliwell, J.R. & Zagalsky, P.F. J. Cryst. Growth 171, 219-225 (1997).

Laue and Monochromatic Developments for Time resolved biological and pertubation chemical crystallography. Bradbrook, G., Deacon, A., Habash, J., Helliwell, J.R., Helliwell, M., Nieh, Y.P., Snell, E.H., Trapini, S., Thompson, A.W., Campbell , J.W., Allinson , N.M. , Moon, K., Ursby, T., Wulff, M. Oxford Series on Synchrotron Radiation 2, Oxford University Press. Time Resolved Diffraction (1997)


Lysozyme crystal growth kinetics monitored using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. Snell, E.H., Helliwell, J.R., Boggon, T.J., Lautenschlager, P. & Potthast, L. Acta Cryst. D52, 529-533 (1996).

Trends and challenges in experimental macromolecular crystallography. Chayen, N.E., Boggon, T.J., Cassetta, A., Deacon, A., Gleichmann, T., Habash, J., Harrop, S.J., Helliwell, J.R., Nieh, Y.P., Peterson, M.R., Raftery, J., Snell, E.H., Hädener, A., Niemann, A.C., Siddons, D.P., Stojanoff, V., Thompson, A.W., Ursby, T. & Wulff, M. Quarterly Rev. Biophysics. 29, 227-278 (1996).

X-ray topography: An old technique with a new application. Stojanoff, V., Siddons, D.P., Snell, E.H. & Helliwell, J. R. Synchrotron Radiation News 9, 25-26 (1996).

An Investigation of the perfection of lysozyme protein crystals grown in microgravity and on earth. Helliwell, J.R., Snell, E.H., & Weisgerber, S. Springer Lecture notes in Physics. Vol 464, Ch. 30 edited by Ratke, L., Walter, H. & Feuerbache, B. Springer Verlag, 155-170 (1996).

1995 and before

Uses of the Synchrotron X-ray Laue Technique and Investigation of Microgravity Crystal Growth. Snell, E.H. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester ( UK ) (1995).

Improvements in lysozyme protein crystal perfection through microgravity growth. Snell, E.H., Weisgerber, S., Helliwell, J.R., Weckert, E., Hölzer, K. & Schroer, K. Acta Cryst. D51, 1099-1102 (1995).

Image-plate synchrotron Laue data collection and structural analysis of a small test crystal of a Nickel-containing aluminophosphate. Snell, E., Habash, J., Helliwell, M., Helliwell, J.R., Raftery, J., Kaucic, V. & Campbell, J.W. J. Synchrotron Rad. 2, 22-26 (1995).

Time resolved biological and pertubation chemical crystallography: Laue and monochromatic developments. Bradbrook, G., Deacon, A., Habash, J., Helliwell, J.R., Helliwell, M., Nieh, Y.P., Snell, E.H., Trapini, S., Thompson, A.W., Campbell, J.W., Allinson, N.M., Moon, K., Ursby, T., Wulff, M. SPIE 2521, 160-177 (1995).

Electron density maps of lysozyme calculated using synchrotron Laue data comprising singles and deconvoluted multiples. Campbell , J.W., deacon, A., Habash, J., Helliwell, J.R., McSweeney, S., Quan, H., Raftery, J. & Snell, E. Bull. Mater. Sci., 17,1, 1-18 (1994).

The emergence of the synchrotron Laue method for rapid data collection from protein crystals. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A, 177-192 (1993). Cassetta, A., Deacon, A., Emmerich, C., Habash, J., Helliwell, J.R., McSweeney, S., Snell, E., Thompson, A.W. & Weisgerber, S.


Method for measurement of physical characteristics of crystals, Borgstahl, Lovelace and Snell, # 6,498,829, issued December 24th, 2002.

Edward H.Snell, PhD
T: 716 898 8631