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Professor John M Squire

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Personal profile

Research interests

The working structure in our striated muscles is the sarcomere which contains overlapping arrays of actin and myosin filaments. Muscle shortening occurs when these filaments slide past each other. Our research ranges from studies of isolated molecules/ particles by electron microscopy and single particle image analysis, to 3D electron microscopy by electron tomography, to the elucidation of the structure and function of muscles from the molecular to the system level and to muscle mechanics related to structure. We also study how muscle goes wrong in various muscle diseases such as the cardiomyopathies. Many of these approaches are gradually working out how muscular force is produced and controlled. A main approach to this is fibre X-ray diffraction which can be applied to living, working muscle. This approach also involves the development of new processing and modelling software for fibre diffraction. In addition, through collaborators, we are also solving the structures of target proteins in muscle and other tissues by protein crystallography or electron microscopy and single particle analysis.


  • Muscle sarcomere ultrastructure in fish, mammalian heart and insect flight muscles by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy
  • Molecular motions in the contractile process in fish and insect muscles probed by time-resolved X-ray diffraction
  • Analysis of the physiology and structure of diseased muscles
  • Structure of isolated myosin and actin filaments by single particle analysis
  • Development of improved fibre diffraction data analysis and modelling methods.
  • Application of improved crystallisation methods to muscle proteins and other target proteins

External positions

Visiting Professor , Imperial College London


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