Brookhaven National Laboratory
From: 1996 - 2006
Past BNL Research Interests
My research interests are focused on developing and using X-ray crystallographic
and other methods to investigate protein structure-function relationships in
systems that are both intriguing from a scientific perspective, and of clear
importance from a humanistic perspective. My current interests are:
I) Methods in membrane-protein structure determination
In a presentation to the Biology Working Group at the Workshop on Fourth
Generation Light Sources held at Argonne National Laboratory on October
27-29, 1997, I proposed that it may be possible to determine structures of
membrane proteins in 2-dimensional crystals by using hard X-ray from a Free
Electron Laser, such as those planned for development at
SSRL-SLAC and at
I have since elaborated further on this proposal at several workshops and
meetings, and I am pursuing feasibility and developmental studies, using
current and evolving technologies, towards realizing this goal once useable
X-ray FEL beams become available.
I am also interested in developing novel expression systems to obtain
integral-membrane proteins in high yield for crystallographic and other
II) Systems: Malaria, Photosynthesis/Solar Energy, Neurobiology
I have general and specific interests in the areas of malaria,
photosynthesis/solar energy, and neurobiology, involving both membrane
proteins and water-soluble proteins.
My main responsibility is to manage operations at the NSLS wiggler
Beam Line X25,
where I am the Spokesperson for Biomolecular Crystallography.
Many members of our group contribute to supporting the beamline,
including Lonny Berman, who is the Spokesperson for X25 overall,
Shai Vaday and Steve Lamarra, who are the Local Contacts, and
additional staff members.
A list of publications from the beamline can be seen in the
NSLS Publications Data Base for X25
Selected Past Publications
Note: The PDB files below can be viewed with
Bai T., Becker M., Gupta A., Strike P., Murphy V.J., Anders R.F., and Batchelor A.H.
Structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum reveals a clustering of polymorphisms
that surround a conserved hydrophobic pocket.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 102(36):12736-12741 (2005).
BNL Press Realease of August 29, 2005.
Becker M., Bunikis J., Lade B.D., Dunn J.J., Barbour A.G., and Lawson C.L.
Structural investigation of B. burgdorferi OspB, a bactericidal Fab target.
J Biol Chem., 280(17):17363-17370 (2005).
Becker M., and Weckert E.
On the possibility of determining structures of membrane proteins in two-dimensional
crystals using X-ray Free Electron Lasers.
In: Conformational Proteomics of Macromolecular Architecture.
(R.H. Cheng, L. Hammar, editors), World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, pp. 133-147 (2004).
Becker M., and Berman L.
Frontiers in structural biology at high-brightness X-ray sources.
Synchrotron Radiation News, 14:7-9 (2001).
Considerations on the possibility of using hard X-rays from a Free Electron
Laser to determine structures of membrane proteins in 2-dimensional crystals.
Potential Future Applications in Structural Biology of an X-ray Free Electron Laser at DESY
pp. 184-198, EMBL, Hamburg (1999).
Preliminary considerations on the possibility of using hard X-rays from a
Free Electron Laser to determine structures of membrane proteins in
Biophys J., 76:A121 (1999).
Becker M., Stubbs M.T., and Huber R.
Crystallization of phycoerythrin 545 of Rhodomonas lens using
detergents and unusual additives.
Protein Sci., 7:580-586 (1998).
Becker M., Nagarajan V., and Parson W.W.
Properties of the excited singlet states of bacteriochlorophyll a and bacteriopheophytin a in polar solvents.
J Am Chem Soc., 113:6840-6848 (1991).
Becker M., Nagarajan V., Middendorf D., Parson W.W., Martin J.E, and Blankenship R.E.
Temperature dependence of the initial electron-transfer kinetics in
photosynthetic reaction centers of Chloroflexus aurantiacus.
Biochim Biophys Acta, 1057:299-312 (1991).
Last Modified: October 2, 2012
Please forward all questions about this site to: