Bonnie Ann Wallace

Professor of Molecular Biophysics
Department of Crystallography
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology
Birkbeck College
University of London
London WC1E 7HX U.K.

phone: 44-(0)207-631-6800
fax: 44-(0)207-631-6803

Ph.D. (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry) Yale University
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow, MRC-LMB, Cambridge
Fellow, AAAS; Fellow, Institute of Biology; Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry; Fellow, IUPAC
2009 Royal Society of Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize
2010 AstraZeneca Award from the Biochemical Society

Book on CD and SRCD:

"Modern Techniques for Circular Dichroism and Synchrotron Radiation Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy"

B.A. Wallace and R.W. Janes, Editors
click here for information on contents and how to order

My lab focuses on structure/function studies of membrane proteins and polypeptides, especially those involved in ion translocation and transport. Of particular interest are voltage-gated sodium channels: we have determined the first crystal structure of a sodium channel in its open conformation . We have also determined the first crystal structures of complexes of a sodium channel with several eukaryotic sodium channel blockers, which we have shown (in collaboration with the Clapham Lab at Harvard) block prokaryotic channels, making this channel an excellent candidate for drug discovery/development, and we identified for the first time the locations of the sodium ions in the channel. We have also developed a new chimeric approach for expression of membrane proteins, and have produced a functional "minimal" sodium channel pore . My lab uses the techniques of X-ray crystallography, cryoEM, and circular dichroism spectroscopy, cloning and expression, bioinformatics, and molecular modelling, as well as functional studies to examine structure/function relationships for ion channels.

The other main focus of my lab is the development of techniques and applications for circular dichroism spectroscopy, including synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy of proteins, and circular dichroism spectroscopy of membrane proteins, including ways of mitigating solvent shifts, differential scattering, and absorption flattening effects. We have created the DICHROWEB website for secondary structural calculations , new soluble and membrane protein reference databases for CD analyses, a CD data processing and archive package "CDtool" for use with conventional CD and SRCD beamline data.

In a collaborative project with R.W. Janes of Queen Mary, University of London, we have created the Protein Circular Dichroism Data Bank (PCDDB), a deposition and archiving data bank and associated validation software for circular dichroism spectra and the DichroMatch method for structural analyses.

Selected Publications:



Our work is and has been supported by grants from the BBSRC, the EPSRC, the MRC, IUPAC, and the Wellcome Trust.

In collaboration with Dr. Alison Rodger of Warwick University, we organise the EU/UK Annual CD Summer School. This year it will be held on 11-13 July 2016. Details of the associated UK/EU Annual CD meeting can be accessed here.


Current Group Members


Postdocs: Dr. Lee Whitmore, Dr. Andrew Miles, Dr. Altin Sula

PhD Students: Alex Henderson, Elliot Drew, Matthew Colledge, Giulia Montini, Jenny Booker

MREs Student: Agnese Baronina

Shared PhD Students: Chris Penny (UCL), Alix Blockley (Rothansted Research)