Alexei Soares is a Biophysicist in the Life Science and Biomedical Technology Research Resource (LSBR) which provides facilities and support at the National Synchrotron Light Source II for the benefit of outside and in-house investigators. The LSBR is supported by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources and the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research in its mission to create optimal facilities and environments for synchrotron based life sciences.
Next generation synchrotron X-ray facilities such as NSLS II will yield data thousands of times more rapidly than existing X-ray facilities. To exploit this capability, we must vastly improve the speed and precision of specimen preparation. To this end, my group is exploring acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) technologies to exploit protein crystals for high throughput applications such as fragment based drug discovery and time resolved crystallography.
We also have an interest in protein hydration and in the methods used to investigate the behaviour of water around proteins. We use highly accurate triplet phases measured with the three-beam method to test and improve crystallographic data collection and refinement methods. Using several test proteins, we measured an accurate "one at a time" triplet phase data set was designed to be sensitive to the correctness of the solvent shell, and we invite collaborators to evaluate models against this hydration probe. We also investigate protein hydration and the role of water in protein function by solving protein structures at high-resolution and on an absolute electron density scale, as well as by applying high-pressure crystallographic methods currently under development.