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Dr Maya Topf

Reader in Computational Biology

Contact details

tel: +44 (0)20 7079 0886

Research website

Research highlights

Dr Topf gave a talk at Science Week 2016: Computational modelling in structural biology [blog]


About Dr Maya Topf

Research interests

  • Our research is focused on the development of computational methods that combine experimental data with bioinformatics and modelling techniques to characterise the structure of macromolecular machines. Structural models are further analysed to understand their function, thereby help designing new experiments. The group is particularly interested in applying these methods using data from cryo electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. In collaboration with experimentalists, specific systems we are interested in include herpes virus sub-complexes, bacterial secretion systems, ligand-gated ion channels, and kinesin motors bound to microtubules.

Selected recent publications

    • Lukoyanova N, (2015) Conformational changes during pore formation by the perforin-related protein pleurotolysin. PLoS Biol. 13(2): e1002049.
    • Farabella I, et al (2014) Allosteric Signalling in the Outer Membrane Translocation Domain of PapC Usher. eLife 3:e03532
    • Pandurangan et al. (2014) Combined approaches to flexible fitting and assessment in virus capsids undergoing conformational change. J Struct Biol 185:427–39.
    • Clare et al. (2012) ATP-triggered molecular mechanics of the chaperonin GroEL. Cell 149:113-23.
    • Pandurangan and Topf (2012) RIBFIND: a web server for identifying rigid bodies in protein structures and to aid flexible fitting into cryo EM maps. Bioinformatics 28:2391-3
    • Vasishtan and Topf (2011) Scoring functions for cryoEM density fitting. J Struct Biol 174:333-43.


  • Members of the Topf Lab teach on these courses and workshops:
    • MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology: Statistics (module organiser), Structural Bioinformatics
    • Principles and Practice in Structural Biology: course for MRes and PhD students
    • EMBO Practical Course on image processing for cryo-electron microscopy

Dr Maya Topf