Dr Andrew Freer
- Honorary Senior Research Fellow (School of Chemistry)
My current research focus is in the field of biomineralisation. This work stems from a lifetime in crystallography, latterly in protein crystallography where my focus lay in the structure elucidation of membrane and membrane associated proteins. In particular, the proteins of the myelin sheath and the antenna complex from photosynthetic bacteria. Experience gained from the isolation and purification of a number of target proteins has lead to a long term interdisciplinary collaboration with Prof. Maggie Cusack (GES) on understanding the exquisite biological control that takes place in invertebrate shell formation. Fascinated by the role that these key proteins play in biomineralisation has lead us to the development of microfluidics to directly study their influence on carbonate shell formation. We have now assembled the transcriptome for the mussel Mytilus edulis from which we can locate many of the common biomineralising proteins. The aspiration of this research is to mimic Nature in the quest to produce strong light-weight functional materials.
(See personal research page (http://www.chem.gla.ac.uk/staff/andy/) for further detail.
Lombardi, C., Cocito, S., Gambi, M.C., Cisterna, B., Flach, Taylor, P.D., Keltie, K., Freer, A. & Cusack M. (2011) Effects of ocean acidification on growth, organic tissue and protein profile of the Mediteranean bryozoan Myriapora truncate. Aquat Biol, 13, 251-262.
MacDonald, J., Freer A. & Cusack M. (2010) Attachment of oysters to natural substrata by biologically induced marine carbonate cement. Marine Biology, 157, 2087-2095. doi:10.1007/s00227-010-1476-7 >>
Bozhi, J., Cusack, M., Freer, A., Dobson,.P., Gadegaard, N. & Yin, H. (2010) Control of crystal polymorph in microfluidics using molluscan 29 kDa Ca2+ binding protein. Integrative Biology, 2, 528-535. doi:10.1039/C0IB00007H >>
MacDonald, J., Freer, A. & Cusack, M. (2010) Alignment of Crystallographic c-Axis throughout the four Distinct Microstructural Layers of the Oyster Crassostrea gigas. Crystal Growth and Design, 10 (3), pp1243-1246. doi:10.1021/cg901263p >>
Freer, A., Greenwood, D., Chung, P., Pannell, C. * Cusack, M. (2010) Aragonite-Prism Nacre Interface in Freshwater mussels Anodonta anatina (Linnaeus 1768) and Anodonta cygnea (L.1758). Crystal. Growth and Design, 10(1), pp 344-347. doi:10.1021/cg901265x >>
Yin, H., Bozhi, J., Mosbahi,K., Dobson, P., Glidle, A., Gadegaard, N., Freer, A., Cooper, J. & Cusack M. (2009) Rapid Screening of biomineralisation using Microfluidics. Anal. Chem., 81 (1), 473-478 • DOI: 10.1021/ac801980b
Cusack, M. & Freer, A. (2008). Biomineralisation: elemental and organic influence in carbonate systems. Chemical Reviews, v.108 (11), 4433-4454. doi:10.1021/cr078270o >>
Cusack, M., Dauphin, Y., Cuif, J-P., Salomé, M., Freer, A. & Yin, H. 2008. Micro-XANES mapping of sulphur and its association with magnesium and phosphorus in the shell of the brachiopod, Terebratulina retusa. Chemical Geology, v.253 (3-4), 172-179. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2008.05.007 >>
Cusack, M., Parkinson, D., Freer, A., Pérez-Huerta, A., Fallick, A.E. & Curry, G.B. 2008. Oxygen isotope composition in Modoilus modiolus aragonite in the context of biological and crystallographic control. Mineralogical Magazine, 72 (2), 567-575.
PhD (Glasgow) FRSC
Selected Recent Talks
"Isolation, extraction and crystallisation of membrane proteins". PEPC5 workshop, DESY, Hamburg 2003,2004, 2006, 2008.
Membrane protein workshop, ESRF Grenoble. 2005.
External Appointments & Positions
EMBO summer schools in protein extraction, purification and crystallization (PEPC3-5).
Lecturer, tutor and organiser for membrane protein section: DESY, Hamburg 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008.
PX group beamtime application coordinator with Diamond SRS (Oxford).
CASE coordinator with ESRF (Grebnoble)