James Sandy


James Sandy is the Senior Support Scientist on the VMXi beamline following the closure of I02 in summer 2016. He is actively involved in development of the sample delivery for VMXi. James joined Diamond in 2006 having spent nine years working in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.

Email: james.sandy@diamond.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778555

Key Research Area

Latest Publications

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  1. Research Expertise
  2. Publications
  3. Biography
Research Expertise -

Current Research Interests

Image Current Research Interests

I work in the MX group at Diamond.
I am responsible for the day to day running of the beamline to ensure the best possible beam is delivered to the users.
On the VMXi beamline I also have overall responsibility for sample delivery, from plates dropped off or delivered to Diamond, all the way to the sample position. This involves the automation of the VMXi beamline as well as plate storage.

My current research project is focusing on the development of methods involving thin film sandwiches for use as a crystallisation support. As we develop the VMXi in-situ­ beamline I am interested in finding the best possible support which will offer users the possibility to easily ship crystallisation experiments, be able to clearly see the results from the crystallisation experiment, and most importantly, provide an environment with a low x-ray background which will permit high-quality data to be collected on samples. I have also been working on the development of a support to hold the films in conjunction with Juan Sanchez-Weatherby, the VMXi Senior Beamline Scientist.

I am also working on methods to assist the users to automatically locate samples in their crystallisation experiments using a variety of techniques. This should hopefully reduce the amount of time spent searching for samples to be analysed on the VMXi beamline.
Publications - +


Crystal structure of the human Tip41 orthologue, TIPRL, reveals a novel fold and a binding site for the PP2Ac C-terminus
Valéria Scorsato, Tatiani B. Lima, Germanna L. Righetto, Nilson I. T. Zanchin, José Brandão-neto, James Sandy, Humberto D’muniz Pereira, Állan J. R. Ferrari, Fabio C. Gozzo, Juliana H. C. Smetana, Ricardo Aparicio
Scientific Reports 6
DOI: 10.1038/srep30813

A generic protocol for protein crystal dehydration using the HC1b humidity controller
Carina Lobley, James Sandy, Juan Sanchez-Weatherby, Marco Mazzorana, Tobias Krojer, Radoslaw Nowak, Thomas Sorensen
Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology 72, 629 - 640
DOI: 10.1107/S2059798316003065

Applications of thin-film sandwich crystallization platforms
Danny Axford, Pierre Aller, Juan Sanchez-Weatherby, James Sandy
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology Communications 72 (4), 313 - 319
DOI: 10.1107/S2053230X16004386


Biography - +


James Sandy first gained his interest in synchrotrons and protein crystallography as an undergraduate at the University of Salford. Whilst reading for a degree in Biochemical Sciences James had the opportunity to spend a year working at Daresbury Laboratory, a first generation synchrotron. He worked alongside beamline staff and researchers, gaining experience in production, purification and crystallisation of the LH2 light harvesting complex from Rhodopseudomonas palustris. This was to be a life changing experience as, until this time, James was convinced that he wanted to be a brewer.

After graduating, James worked at the University of Oxford in the Department of Pharmacology, with Professor Edith Sim. He worked initially as a research technician and helped to solve the structure of an Arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) from Salmonella typhimurium with Professor Martin Noble. This was the first NAT structure ever reported and exhibited a novel protein fold. James continued to work as a research assistant, and as the lab manager, solving more prokaryotic NAT structures as well as co-crystallised structures in the presence of a variety of ligands. These structures gave a real insight into the enzymic mechanism of the NAT enzymes. After almost nine years working at the University James got a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Diamond. He assisted in the assembly of the experimental hutch equipment on the phase one MX beamlines and helped to commission I03, then I02. James has changed his job role to become a Support Scientist on I02 where he ensures that the beamline is operational and finely tuned. James also provides a lot of user support, routinely helping users with their data collections and ensuring they leave I02 with the best possible data.