Nathan Cowieson


Nathan Cowieson is Principle Beamline Scientist on the solution State SAXS beamline, B21.

Tel: +44 (0)1235 567504

I have spent my working life in structural biology. While my training is in crystallography I quickly formed a strong ethos of "the right tool for the right job" and began using combinations of biochemical and biophysical techniques to answer what I saw as the biggest questions. I am interested in protein dynamics: how assembly of complexes, conformational changes and flexibility play a role in protein function. While there have been lots of studies of these things over the years I believe there is still not a good way of measuring molecular flexibility and movement in a quantitative manner. I hate talking of what might be possible without acting to make it possible. This attitude has driven me to developed a high level of skill in instrument development and particularly in process automation allowing large amounts of data from disparate techniques to be measured analysed and recorded. In this I have made a significant contribution to my own research and the research of the structural biology community.

The role of lipid chains as determinants of membrane stability in the presence of styrene, 2021, V Yeh, A Goode, D Johnson, N Cowieson, BB Bonev, Langmuir

Palmitic acid sophorolipid biosurfactant: from self-assembled fibrillar network (SAFiN) to hydrogels with fast recovery, 2021, N Baccile, G Ben Messaoud, P Le Griel, N Cowieson, J Perez, R Geys, et al, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 379 (2206), 20200343

Research data supporting" Light-responsive self-assembly of a cationic azobenzene surfactant at high concentration" 2021, C Blayo, EA Kelly, J Houston, N Khunti, N Cowieson, RC Evans

Beamline setup & calibration quality control for synchrotron MX beamlines, 2021, D Aragao, N Cowieson, Acta Cryst 77, C820

Controlling the formation and alignment of low molecular weight gel ‘noodles’

D McDowall, M Walker, M Vassalli, M Cantini, N Khunti, et al, Chemical Communications 57 (70), 8782-8785

Design of a multipurpose sample cell holder for the Diamond Light Source high‐throughput SAXS beamline B21, CJC Edwards-Gayle, N Khunti, IW Hamley, K Inoue, N Cowieson, R.P Rambo, Journal of synchrotron radiation 28 (1), 318-321

Controlling Photocatalytic Activity by Self‐Assembly–Tuning Perylene Bisimide Photocatalysts for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction, D McDowall, BJ Greeves, R Clowes, K McAulay, AM Fuentes‐Caparrós, et al, Advanced Energy Materials 10 (46), 2002469

Synthesis of multilamellar walls vesicles polyelectrolyte-surfactant complexes from pH-stimulated phase transition using microbial biosurfactants, 2020, C Seyrig, P Le Griel, N Cowieson, J Perez, N Baccile Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 580, 493-502

Beamline B21: high-throughput small-angle X-ray scattering at Diamond Light Source, 2020, NP Cowieson, CJC Edwards-Gayle, K Inoue, NS Khunti, J Doutch, M. Tully, N. Terril, R. Rambo, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 27 (5), 1438-1446

Stimuli-Induced Nonequilibrium Phase Transitions in Polyelectrolyte–Surfactant Complex Coacervates, 2020, C Seyrig, G Kignelman, W Thielemans, P Le Griel, N Cowieson, J Perez, et al, Langmuir 36 (30), 8839-8857

Isotopic control over self-assembly in supramolecular gels, 2020, K McAulay, H Wang, AM Fuentes-Caparrós, L Thomson, N Khunti, et al Langmuir 36 (29), 8626-8631

Crystal structure of posnjakite formed in the first crystal water-cooling line of the ANSTO Melbourne Australian Synchrotron MX1 Double Crystal Monochromator, 2020, S Mills, J Aishima, D Aragao, TT Caradoc-Davies, N Cowieson, CL Gee, et alActa Crystallographica Section E: Crystallographic Communications 76 (7 …

Controlling activity by self-assembly–tuning perylene bisimide photocatalysts for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction, 2020, D McDowall, B Greeves, K McAulay, A Fuentes-Caparros, L Thomson, et al


Synthesis of multilamellar walls vesicles (MLWV) polyelectrolyte surfactant complexes (PESCs) from pH-stimulated phase transition using microbial biosurfactants, 2020, C Seyrig, P Le Griel, N Cowieson, J PErez, N Baccile


Light-responsive self-assembly of a cationic azobenzene surfactant at high concentration, 2020, C Blayo, EA Kelly, JE Houston, N Khunti, NP Cowieson, RC Evans, Soft Matter 16 (40), 9183-9187

Controlling the properties of the micellar and gel phase by varying the counterion in functionalised-dipeptide systems, 2020, K McAulay, PA Ucha, H Wang, AM Fuentes-Caparrós, L Thomson, et al, Chemical Communications 56 (29), 4094-4097

A single-component photorheological fluid with light-responsive viscosity, 2020

EA Kelly, N Willis-Fox, JE Houston, C Blayo, G Divitini, N Cowieson, et al

Nanoscale 12 (11), 6300-6306

Multimodal control of liquid crystalline mesophases from surfactants with photoswitchable tails, JE Houston, EA Kelly, M Kruteva, K Chrissopoulou, N Cowieson, et al Journal of Materials Chemistry C 7 (35), 10945-10952

MX2: a high-flux undulator microfocus beamline serving both the chemical and macromolecular crystallography communities at the Australian Synchrotron D Aragão, J Aishima, H Cherukuvada, R Clarken, M Clift, NP Cowieson, et al Journal of synchrotron radiation 25 (3), 885-891

Structural insights into GDP-mediated regulation of a bacterial acyl-CoA thioesterase, YB Khandokar, P Srivastava, N Cowieson, S Sarker, D Aragao, S Das, et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 292 (50), 20461-20471

Chemical crystallography at the Australian Synchrotron MX Beamlines, 2017, JR Price, J Aishima, D Aragao, D Eriksson, S Panjikar, et al SCANZ

Structure of a Complex Between the Autoantigen GAD65 and a Human Autoantibody, 2017,  L Clark, JS Green, BT Porebski, NJ McKenzie, BT Riley, I Kass, PROTEIN SCIENCE 26, 192-192

Complex three-dimensional self-assembly in proxies for atmospheric aerosols, 2017, C Pfrang, K Rastogi, ER Cabrera-Martinez, AM Seddon, C Dicko, ...

Nature communications 8 (1), 1-8

Self-sorted oligophenylvinylene and perylene bisimide hydrogels, 2017, AM Castilla, ER Draper, MC Nolan, C Brasnett, A Seddon, LLE Mears, et al, Scientific reports 7 (1), 1-10

Improved radiation dose efficiency in solution SAXS using a sheath flow sample environment, 2016, N Kirby, N Cowieson, AM Hawley, ST Mudie, DJ McGillivray, M Kusel, et al, Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology 72 (12), 1254-1266

Combined pressure and temperature denaturation of ribonuclease A produces alternate denatured states, 2016, TM Ryan, Y Xun, NP Cowieson, JP Mata, A Jackson, BR Pauw, AJ Smith, et al, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 473 (4), 834-839

Structural and functional characterization of the PaaI thioesterase from Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals a dual specificity for phenylacetyl-CoA and medium-chain fatty acyl …, 2016,  YB Khandokar, P Srivastava, S Sarker, CMD Swarbrick, D Aragao, et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 291 (4), 1866-1876

Dynamic motion and communication in the streptococcal C1 phage lysin, PlyC, 2015, BT Riley, SS Broendum, CF Reboul, NP Cowieson, MGS Costa, I Kass, ...

Plos one 10 (10), e0140219

Structural ensembles reveal intrinsic disorder for the multi-stimuli responsive bio-mimetic protein Rec1-resilin, 2015, R Balu, R Knott, NP Cowieson, CM Elvin, AJ Hill, NR Choudhury, et al, Scientific reports 5 (1), 1-12

Structural and functional characterization of TesB from Yersinia pestis reveals a unique octameric arrangement of hotdog domains, 2015, CMD Swarbrick, MA Perugini, N Cowieson, JK Forwood, Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography 71 (4), 986-995

The solution structure of the pentatricopeptide repeat protein PPR10 upon binding atpH RNA, 2015, BS Gully, N Cowieson, WA Stanley, K Shearston, ID Small, A Barkan, et al, Nucleic acids research 43 (3), 1918-1926

X-ray structure of the amidase domain of AtzF, the allophanate hydrolase from the cyanuric acid-mineralizing multienzyme complex, 2015, S Balotra, J Newman, NP Cowieson, NG French, PM Campbell, LJ Briggs, et al, Applied and environmental microbiology 81 (2), 470-480

MX1: a bending-magnet crystallography beamline serving both chemical and macromolecular crystallography communities at the Australian Synchrotron, 2015, NP Cowieson, D Aragao, M Clift, DJ Ericsson, C Gee, SJ Harrop, N Mudie, et al Journal of synchrotron radiation 22 (1), 187-190

The structure of vanin 1: a key enzyme linking metabolic disease and inflammation, 2014, YL Boersma, J Newman, TE Adams, N Cowieson, G Krippner, K Bozaoglu, et al, Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography 70 (12), 3320-3329

Molecular insights into the interaction between Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 and an invasion-inhibitory peptide, 2014, G Wang, CA MacRaild, B Mohanty, M Mobli, NP Cowieson, RF Anders, et al,

PLoS One 9 (10), e109674

Time-resolved studies of dynamic biomolecules using small angle X-ray scattering, 2014, NM Kirby, NP Cowieson, Current Opinion in Structural Biology 28, 41-46

Structural characterization of the retromer cargo recognition sub-complex, 2014, N Leneva, S Norwood, R Ghai, N Cowieson, A Duff, K Wood, B Collins, FEBS JOURNAL 281, 209-209

Structural basis for regulation of the human acetyl-CoA thioesterase 12 and interactions with the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein-related lipid transfer (START) domain, 2014, CMD Swarbrick, N Roman, N Cowieson, EI Patterson, J Nanson, et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 289 (35), 24263-24274

Cofactor-dependent conformational heterogeneity of GAD65 and its role in autoimmunity and neurotransmitter homeostasis, 2014, I Kass, DE Hoke, MGS Costa, CF Reboul, BT Porebski, NP Cowieson, et al,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (25), E2524-E2529

G-quadruplexes regulate Epstein-Barr virus–encoded nuclear antigen 1 mRNA translation, 2014, P Murat, J Zhong, L Lekieffre, NP Cowieson, JL Clancy, T Preiss, et al, Nature chemical biology 10 (5), 358-364

A low-background-intensity focusing small-angle X-ray scattering undulator beamline, 2013, NM Kirby, ST Mudie, AM Hawley, DJ Cookson, HDT Mertens, N Cowieson, et al, Journal of Applied Crystallography 46 (6), 1670-1680

Cyanuric acid hydrolase: evolutionary innovation by structural concatenation, 2013, TS Peat, S Balotra, M Wilding, NG French, LJ Briggs, S Panjikar, et al, Molecular microbiology 88 (6), 1149-1163

Structural characterization of Staphylococcus aureus biotin protein ligase and interaction partners: An antibiotic target, 2013, NR Pendini, MY Yap, SW Polyak, NP Cowieson, A Abell, GW Booker, et al, Protein Science 22 (6), 762-773

Dual effects of sodium phytate on the structural stability and solubility of proteins, 2013, JW Bye, NP Cowieson, AJ Cowieson, PH Selle, RJ Falconer, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61 (2), 290-295

Crystal structure of an indole-3-acetic acid amido synthetase from grapevine involved in auxin homeostasis, 2012, TS Peat, C Böttcher, J Newman, D Lucent, N Cowieson, C Davies, The Plant Cell 24 (11), 4525-4538

Dimerization of plant defensin NaD1 enhances its antifungal activity, 2012, FT Lay, GD Mills, IKH Poon, NP Cowieson, N Kirby, AA Baxter, et al Journal of Biological Chemistry 287 (24), 19961-19972

Protein–phytate interactions in pig and poultry nutrition: a reappraisal, 2012, PH Selle, AJ Cowieson, NP Cowieson, V Ravindran, Nutrition research reviews 25 (1), 1-17

The X-ray crystal structure of full-length human plasminogen, 2012,  RHP Law, T Caradoc-Davies, N Cowieson, AJ Horvath, AJ Quek, et al, Cell reports 1 (3), 185-190

Structure and activity of exo‐1,3/1,4‐β‐glucanase from marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. BB1 showing a novel C‐terminal domain, 2012, Y Nakatani, SM Cutfield, NP Cowieson, JF Cutfield, The FEBS journal 279 (3), 464-478

The structural basis for autonomous dimerization of the pre-T-cell antigen receptor, 2012, R Berry, S Pang, Z Chen, L Kjer-Nielsen, M Perugini, G King, C Wang, et al, Febs Journal 279 (Supplement 1), 431-431

Different modes of interaction by TIAR and HuR with target RNA and DNA, 2011, HS Kim, MCJ Wilce, YMK Yoga, NR Pendini, MJ Gunzburg, NP Cowieson, et al, Nucleic acids research 39 (3), 1117-1130

The role of conformational change in HIV maturation revealed by SAXS, 2011, NP Cowieson, M Hijnen, J Wilce, M Wilce, J Mak, N Kirby, ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA A-FOUNDATION AND ADVANCES 67, C43-C43

Assembly and solution structure of the core retromer protein complex, 2011, SJ Norwood, DJ Shaw, NP Cowieson, DJ Owen, RD Teasdale, et al, Traffic 12 (1), 56-71

The structural basis for autonomous dimerization of the pre-T-cell antigen receptor, 2010, SS Pang, R Berry, Z Chen, L Kjer-Nielsen, MA Perugini, GF King, C Wang, et al, Nature 467 (7317), 844-848

Maturation induce a structural reorganization of the HIV Gag polyprotein, 2010, M Hijnen, N Cowieson, S Heaton, CF Pereira, L Hartkamp, M Spiegel, et al ,Proceedings of the 2010 Cold Springs Harbour Laboratory Meeting

Self regulation of virus maturation by HIV Gag, M Hijnen, N Cowieson, J Wilce, M Wilce, J Mak ASHM 2009: Proceedings of the 21st Australasian Society for HIV Medicine 2009

Crystallography and protein–protein interactions: biological interfaces and crystal contacts, 2008, B Kobe, G Guncar, R Buchholz, T Huber, B Maco, N Cowieson, JL Martin, et al, Biochemical Society Transactions 36 (6), 1438-1441

United we stand: combining structural methods, 2008, NP Cowieson, B Kobe, JL Martin, Current opinion in structural biology 18 (5), 617-622

Cortactin adopts a globular conformation and bundles actin into sheets, 2008, NP Cowieson, G King, D Cookson, I Ross, T Huber, DA Hume, B Kobe, et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 283 (23), 16187-16193

Cloning, expression, purification and characterization of a DsbA-like protein from Wolbachia pipientis, 2008, M Kurz, I Iturbe-Ormaetxe, R Jarrott, N Cowieson, G Robin, A Jones, et al Protein expression and purification 59 (2), 266-273

Evaluating protein: protein complex formation using synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy, 2008, NP Cowieson, AJ Miles, G Robin, JK Forwood, B Kobe, JL Martin, et al, Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics 70 (4), 1142-1146

SAXS, synchrotron CD and chemical cross-linking for structural study of complex biological systems, 2008, NP Cowieson, G King, D Cookson, B Kobe, JL Martin


A general target selection method for crystallographic proteomics, 2008, G Robin, NP Cowieson, G Guncar, JK Forwood, P Listwan, DA Hume, et al, Structural Proteomics, 27-35

A medium or high throughput protein refolding assay, 2008,NP Cowieson, B Wensley, G Robin, G Guncar, J Forwood, DA Hume, et al, Structural Proteomics, 269-275

Structural basis for recognition of high mannose type glycoproteins by mammalian transport lectin VIP36, 2007, T Satoh, NP Cowieson, W Hakamata, H Ideo, K Fukushima, M Kurihara, et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 282 (38), 28246-28255

Protein structure and function determination using synchrotron radiation, 2007, JL Martin, NP Cowieson, Chemistry in Australia 74 (8), 17-19

Focusing in on structural genomics: the University of Queensland structural biology pipeline, 2006, M Puri, G Robin, N Cowieson, JK Forwood, P Listwan, SH Hu, G Guncar, et al, Biomolecular engineering 23 (6), 281-289

Incorporating a TEV cleavage site reduces the solubility of nine recombinant mouse proteins, 2006, M Kurz, NP Cowieson, G Robin, DA Hume, JL Martin, B Kobe, P Listwan, Protein expression and purification 50 (1), 68-73

An automatable screen for the rapid identification of proteins amenable to refolding, 2006, NP Cowieson, B Wensley, P Listwan, DA Hume, B Kobe, JL Martin, Proteomics 6 (6), 1750-1757

Rapid identification of DTSSP crosslinked peptides using LCMALDI Tof-Tof mass spectrometry, 2006, GF King, A Jones, NP Cowieson, TL Huber, B Kobe, IL Ross, Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Pilot studies on the parallel production of soluble mouse proteins in a bacterial expression system, 2005, NP Cowieson, P Listwan, M Kurz, A Aagaard, T Ravasi, C Wells, T Huber, Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 6 (1), 13-20

An inflammatory role for the mammalian carboxypeptidase inhibitor latexin: relationship to cystatins and the tumor suppressor TIG1, 2005, A Aagaard, P Listwan, N Cowieson, T Huber, T Ravasi, CA Wells, et al, Structure 13 (2), 309-317

High throughput structural studies of novel macrophage proteins associated with inflammatory diseases, 2005, M Puri, G Robin, J Forwood, B Kobe, D Hume, N Cowieson, JL Martin, Proceedings of the 2005 East Coast Protein Meeting

Modification of recombinatorial cloning for small affinity tag fusion protein construct generation, 2005, P Listwan, N Cowieson, M Kurz, DA Hume, JL Martin, B Kobe, Analytical biochemistry 346 (2), 327-329

Methods for high-throughput protein expression, purification and structure determination adapted for structural genomics, 2004, P Listwan, J Martin, B Kobe, N Cowieson, Australian Biochemist 35 (2), 43-46

Structural genomics of novel macrophage proteins associated with inflammatory disease and cancer, 2002, P Listwan, CR Walsh, T Ravasi, CA Wells, NP Cowieson, DA Hume, et al

Structural genomics of novel proteins induced in macrophages in response to lipopolysaccharide, 2002,  CR Walsh, P Listwan, RA Serek, NP Cowieson, G Barry, IL Ross, et al.

Structure and functions analysis of leucine rich repeat containing proteins involved in the macrophage response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide, 2002, CR Walsh, P Listwan, RA Serek, NP Cowieson, CL Gee, G Barry, IL Ross, et al

Dimerisation of a chromo shadow domain and distinctions from the chromodomain as revealed by structural analysis, 2000, NP Cowieson, JF Partridge, RC Allshire, PJ McLaughlin, Current Biology 10 (9), 517-525

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