Dr. John Henry Beale

John Beale photo

Serial Crystallography Beamline Scientist

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

John received a BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College London, UK before completing a DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, UK in membrane protein structural biology under the guidance of Prof. Simon Newstead. In 2016, John moved to the UK synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, where he developed serial crystallography techniques on beamline I24. John was then awarded a PSI-Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship in the MX group at PSI in 2019 to continue these investigations. In 2020, John became the serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) beamline scientist on Cristallina, the third experimental station of SwissFEL's ARAMIS beamline. John's chief responsibility is to lead the Cristallina-MX project which aims to reduce the barriers of SFX to new and inexperienced users. Cristallina-MX will be open for users in the 2nd SwissFEL call in 2023 for the first semester of 2024.

Since 2018, John has tried to develop strategies to create the samples required for modern serial crystallography experiments at either synchrotrons or XFELs. These include methods to create large volumes of micro-crystals and fixed-target mounting and loading techniques. John is now also working towards the realization of a fixed-target endstation on Cristallina called SwissMX. The endstation's primary purpose will be high-throughput SFX for room-temperature time-resolved experiments.

  • Owen RL, de Sanctis D, Pearson AR, Beale JH
    A standard descriptor for fixed-target serial crystallography
    Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology. 2023; 79(8): 668-672. https://doi.org/10.1107/S2059798323005429
  • Wranik M, Weinert T, Slavov C, Masini T, Furrer A, Gaillard N, et al.
    Watching the release of a photopharmacological drug from tubulin using time-resolved serial crystallography
    Nature Communications. 2023; 14(1): 903 (12 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-36481-5
  • Huang C-Y, Aumonier S, Engilberge S, Eris D, Smith KML, Leonarski F, et al.
    Probing ligand binding of endothiapepsin by 'temperature-resolved' macromolecular crystallography
    Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology. 2022; 78: 964-974. https://doi.org/10.1107/S205979832200612X
  • Moreno-Chicano T, Carey LM, Axford D, Beale JH, Doak RB, Duyvesteyn HME, et al.
    Complementarity of neutron, XFEL and synchrotron crystallography for defining the structures of metalloenzymes at room temperature
    IUCrJ. 2022; 9(5): 610-624. https://doi.org/10.1107/S2052252522006418
  • Beale JH, Marsh ME
    Optimizing the growth of endothiapepsin crystals for serial crystallography experiments
    Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2021; 168: e61896 (30 pp.). https://doi.org/10.3791/61896
  • Butryn A, Simon PS, Aller P, Hinchliffe P, Massad RN, Leen G, et al.
    An on-demand, drop-on-drop method for studying enzyme catalysis by serial crystallography
    Nature Communications. 2021; 12(1): 4461 (7 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24757-7
  • Martiel I, Beale JH, Karpik A, Huang C-Y, Vera L, Olieric N, et al.
    Versatile microporous polymer-based supports for serial macromolecular crystallography
    Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology. 2021; 77(9): 1153-1167. https://doi.org/10.1107/S2059798321007324
  • Beale JH
    Macromolecular X-ray crystallography: soon to be a road less travelled?
    Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology. 2020; 76(5): 400-405. https://doi.org/10.1107/S2059798320004660
  • Pfanzagl V, Beale JH, Michlits H, Schmidt D, Gabler T, Obinger C, et al.
    X-ray-induced photoreduction of heme metal centers rapidly induces active-site perturbations in a protein-independent manner
    Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2020; 295(39): 13488-13501. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.ra120.014087