David Aragao


David Aragão is a Senior Beamline Scientist at the I04 beamline. He joined Diamond in 2019 from the Australian Synchrotron, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation where he spent the previous 5 years as a Beamline Scientist and prior 3 years as a Beamline Postdoctoral Associate. 

Email: david.aragao@diamond.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)12353 94055

Latest Publications

Brief Biography

David Aragão studied organic chemistry at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT-UNL, Portugal, 1994-2001). From early undergraduate days he got interested in structural biology having spent time in international laboratories like the EMBL, Grenoble, France (1999) and University of Georgia, Athens, USA (2000). After graduating in chemistry David worked for a 2-year period as a research assistant in Protein Crystallography with particular emphasis on metalloproteins (2000-2001). From here he then followed to a joined Ph.D between the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, France) and the Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB-UNL, Portugal) - 2002 to 2007 - where the metalloproteins research path was expanded to enzymes involved in bacterial biofilm formation. In 2008 he moved to Ireland, under Prof. Martin Caffrey's supervision, as a NHI funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow (University of Limerick) and later successfully obtaining a prestigious IEF Marie Curie Fellowship to work at Trinity College Dublin. During this period he specialized in the membrane protein field working in diverse important targets from GPCRs, membrane metalloproteins and several P. aeruginosa membrane proteins involved in biofilm, membrane kinetics, ABC-transporters and others. In 2011 he joined the Australian Synchrotron for a two year period as a beamline postdoc and after a brief stunt jointly appointed by the Australian Synchrotron and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute he became a Beamline Scientist at the Australian Synchrotron. Later he moved to the United Kingdom where he currently has the role of Senior Beamline Scientist at the I04 Diamond Light Source beamline. His current research interests lie in field of membrane structural biology namely viral capsids, nuclear import, membrane metalloproteins, ABC- transporters, ATP synthases but also crystallography and beamline method developments from hardware to software developments related to micron-beams, lipid cubic phase, multi-crystal data merging just to name a few.

Current interests

David Aragão

David is particularly interested in improving MX beamlines with automation without compromising on quality of the research developed. This includes better ways to collect data with modern day pixel array detectors, strategies to collect complete datasets of diffraction data from multiple wedges on the same or different crystals, working with the challenges presented by small and ultra small X-ray beams (e.g. beam stability, small sphere of confusion, etc) as well as improvements on how we reduce our raw data from these different experimental setups.

Another area that David is keen is user experience at an MX beamlines from local at the synchrotron to remote at their labs. Improvements on how to design our experiments, on how to present the GUIs for data collection and how we organize the post experiment data archivers (raw and metadata) so that we can make a better use on the next experiments. The amount of data generated on a modern synchrotron due to advances on beam flux, size and detectors can be often overwhelming. These requires some thinking outside of the box and not present or do things the same way over and over. 


Finally, my structural biology research interests lie on the interfaces of cells and cell organelles: Understanding the biology how an important physiological agent is imported by a bacteria for survival, how energy is transduced to proton gradients across the biological membrane or how proton gradients are converted ATP, how viral capsids attach to cells or how viruses assemble inside their host cell, how cargo proteins import or export molecules into the nucleolus, mitochondria or Golgi apparatus is key to fundamental processes of medical research. 


 Updated publications on the sites below

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