School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Jon Nield


Senior Lecturer in Structural Biology, Principal Research Fellow

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8440
Room Number: Room G11, Joseph Priestley Building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Advanced Biochemical Research Methods (BIO491)
  • Project Skills in the Life Sciences (BIO603)

Careers Liaison Officer for Biology and Biochemistry degree courses

QMplus SBCS Careers


Research Interests:

I am a scientist in the fields of Biochemistry and Structural Biology, specialising in protein production, single particle image processing, transmission electron microscopy and the three-dimensional (3D) modelling of membrane-bound biological macromolecules. I hold a part-time position within the Structural Biology section of SBCS’ Biochemistry Department; my wet/dry/computing labs’ output is directed towards solving a variety of macromolecular protein structure-function questions. I am very grateful for the funding received, my collaborations with >125 co-authors, and all the enjoyable scientific interactions over the past 20+ years.

The protein structures we observe using electron microscopy are usually between 20 to 40 nm in diameter (500 to 3,000 kDa in molecular mass). We calculate their 3D structures to reveal details 1 to 2 nm in size. Of primary importance are the 3D structures of functionally intact membrane-bound (observed in solubilised form) photosystem reaction centres, isolated from a variety of organisms. We hope these 2D/3D structural maps will aid future research, elsewhere, in the design of artificial photosynthesis/renewable energy technologies. In recent times, we have also investigated macromolecules involved in Alzheimer’s Disease, bacterial pathogenesis and neurotoxicity. Amongst others (c/f .pdb entries at the RCSB), a light harvesting protein (C-phycocyanin) was resolved to 1.45 Å resolution by X-ray crystallography; the lab has had previous experience with NASA (micro-gravity experiments) and Atomic Force Microscopy.

Our research focus is shifting to proteins involved in Alzheimer’s Disease, other protein assemblies required for the assembly/repair/regulation of the photosystems. The fields of light-sensing (phytochrome) and iron metabolism (ferritin) are also ongoing and exciting. Practical work is performed on the first floor in The Joseph Priestley Building, with computing and office being hosted on the ground floor. I am one of the School's key academics aiming to enhance the Biology/Biochemistry Employability agenda. I engage in consultative work for the IBID textbooks for the International Baccalaureate (Biology) and promote microscopy through initiatives with a local school (augmenting their library/microscopy lab). My work has been sponsored by numerous sources, primarily through the UK government's BBSRC research council, Japan's JST/CREST and The Royal Society.

Research department


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