Imperial College London

ProfessorMarinvan Heel

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Visiting Professor
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5316m.vanheel Website

 
 
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Assistant

 

Dr Audrey Geffen +44 (0)20 7594 5323

 
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Location

 

G20Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Summary

Marin van Heel is one of the main developers of the single-particle techniques in use worldwide today. Trained as a physicist at the Technical University of Delft and at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, with a strong emphasis on optics and imaging science, Marin van Heel moved into Biochemistry/Biophysics for his PhD research in the Electron Microscopy group of Professor Erni van Bruggen in the Biochemistry Dept of the latter University. Already during this PhD research, new alleys of structural analysis for single particles were explored which now have become standard techniques in the field. Many of those new techniques were implemented in the context of the (then) new IMAGIC software package (a first publication on this system appeared in 1981).

One important achievement of that PhD research was the introduction of Multivariate Statistical Analysis (MSA) techniques to EM single particle analysis (1980/1981). In combination with automatic classification techniques in EM (1984) and multi-reference alignments (1986) these techniques allowed one to study randomly oriented single particles. The studies extended to the third dimension (similar to the techniques of X-ray crystallography) with the introduction of the "exact" filtered back-projection 3D-reconstruction methodology (1986). (The Van Heel group was also one of the first groups to apply electron tomography to organelles (3D reconstruction of a human chromosome; 1988). The determination of the Euler orientations of the particles or class averages became possible with the introduction of "Projection Matching" (1984), and especially the introduction of Angular Reconstitution technique ("common line projections"; 1987). With this range of technologies available, the first 3D reconstruction of a macromolecule from random orientations by angular reconstitution appeared (1994/1995).

One of the focus points of the research in Marin van Heel's group, is the study of a whole range of biological complexes studied in specific functional states. The first such study on a ribosomal complexe in a specific functional state (E. coli 70S in complex with EF-Tu) appeared in Nature, in 1997. Various others followed in subsequent years. One of the most spectacular more recent results along this line of research was a reconstruction of three-dimensional structures of the 70S E. coli ribosome in complex with RF3 (Nature, 2004). The sample turned out to contain a mixture of functional states of the 70S and a "purification in silico" allowed revealing two very different functional states of the ribosome to co-exist in solution: a pre-translocational and a post-translocational state both with RF3 bound. (The RF3 also underwent large conformational changes between these two states). This work represented a first in terms of "4D" single-particle cryo-EM, the fourth dimension being the time line of the experiment.

Marin van Heel received the Ernst Ruska award for electron microscopy in 1985. The most recent honour received is that Marin van Heel will be filling van Arkel" guest professorship at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in the spring of this year (2006).

Marin van Heel was the founder and first Director of the Imperial College Centre for Structural Biology (IC-CSB; 1997), and the founder and Director of the Imperial College Centre for Biomolecular Electron Microscopy (CBEM, 1997). He took the initiative and organised the first Santa Rita School for Single Particle cryo-EM that took place in 2005.

  • 1966-1967 - Physics study, Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands.
  • 1967-1976 - Physics study, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • 1976-1982 - Biochemistry Department of the University of Groningen. Structural studies on hemocyanins and other large biological macromolecules. Methodology Development.
  • 1981 - Doctorate in Biophysics, University of Groningen
  • 1982-1996 - Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany, Head of interdisciplinary structural biology group
  • 1996-present - Professor of Structural Biology, Imperial College London, England
  • 1966-1967  -  Physics study, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands.
  • 1967-1976  -  Physics study, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
  • 1976-1982  -  Biochemistry Department of the University of Groningen. Structural studies on hemocyanins and other large biological macromolecules.  Methodology Development.
  • 1981             -  Doctorate in Biophysics, University of Groningen
  • 1982-1996  -  Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany,  Head of interdisciplinary structural biology group

Invited Lectures and Presentations

  • Creating an ever clearer picture of biological complexes by single-particle electron microscopy, 800 MHz NMR Facility Inauguration Symposium and the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Millennium Institute for Structural Biology in Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  5th of  September 2007 
  • Creating an ever clearer picture of biological complexes by single-particle electron microscopy, wwPDB Retreat Mini Symposium, Princeton, USA, 8th of September 2007 
  • Multivariate Statistical Analysis and Automatic Cassification, EMBO Course on Image Processing for cryo-EM, Birckbeck College, London, UK,  15th of September 2007
  • Classification of huge data sets of quantum noise-limited cryo-EM images of biological complexes, Stanford, USA, 27th of September 2007 

Publications

Journals

Vazquez-Fernandez E, Vos MR, Afanasyev P, et al., 2016, The Structural Architecture of an Infectious Mammalian Prion Using Electron Cryomicroscopy, Plos Pathogens, Vol:12, ISSN:1553-7366

Afanasyev P, Ravelli RBG, Matadeen R, et al., 2015, A posteriori correction of camera characteristics from large image data sets, Scientific Reports, Vol:5, ISSN:2045-2322

Nederlof I, Li YW, van Heel M, et al., 2013, Imaging protein three-dimensional nanocrystals with cryo-EM, Acta Crystallographica Section D-biological Crystallography, Vol:69, ISSN:0907-4449, Pages:852-859

Manzine LR, Balasco Serrao VH, Trambaioli da Rocha e Lima LM, et al., 2013, Assembly stoichiometry of bacterial selenocysteine synthase and SelC (tRNA(sec)), Febs Letters, Vol:587, ISSN:0014-5793, Pages:906-911

van Heel M, 2013, Finding trimeric HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins in random noise, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:110, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:E4175-E4177

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