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Wladek Minor, Ph.D.

Harrison Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics

- Office: (434) 243-6865
- Lab:  (434) 924-2948
- Lab 2 (coffee room desks):  (434) 243-0033
- Lab 3 (former front office):  (434) 243-6853
- Fax:  (434) 243-2981
- E-mail:
- Directions to the laboratory (in PDF format)
    Department of Molecular Physiology
and Biological Physics
University of Virginia
1340 Jefferson Park Avenue,
Pinn Hall (formerly Jordan Hall)
Room 4223
Charlottesville, VA 22908
    Department of Molecular Physiology
and Biological Physics
University of Virginia
PO Box 800736
Charlottesville, VA 22908-073

Research Interests:


Our laboratory studies macromolecular structure with an aim toward in-depth understanding of structure-function relationships. X-ray diffraction analysis is our primary research tool, but we also employ other physical and biochemical methods of analysis. The program emphasizes two broad themes; crystallographic studies on molecules of immediate interest, and methodology development. Most of the macromolecules that we have under study relate to one or more of a few broad biological areas: cellular signal transduction and metalloproteins. The same systems have been chosen as subjects for methodology development. The methodology development includes the development of various crystallographic tools that create the HKL Package.

Another research area is high-throughput crystallography and structural genomics. Our lab is involved in a number of large, biomedically oriented projects that will revolutionize biomedical research in this decade. We are a member of the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics and the New York Structural Genomics Research Consortium (both centers of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative), and the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Disease (a project of the NIAID). We are also a part of the Enzyme Function Initiative (an NIH Glue Grant). We develop widely used methodology that is used in thousands of structural biology laboratories around the world. We collaborate with many synchrotron beamlines, in particular, with the Structural Biology Center at the Advanced Photon Source, and with many individual laboraries.

electron density

These collaborations have been exceptionally fruitful, resulting in joint publications with researchers from 79 different institutions from around the world. See an interactive map of the geographical distribution of these institutions.

The lab is well equipped to facilitate large scale protein purification, crystallization, biophysical characterization and detection of protein/protein or protein/small molecule interactions.

Web Services

  Check My Metal -- A web server for the validation of metal binding sites in macromolecules.
  MgRNA -- Classification of Mg2+ binding sites in RNA crystal structures
  Fitmunk -- Automatic modeling of side-chain conformations (The Integrated Resource for Reproducibility in Macromolecular Crystallography) -- Diffraction Experiment Archiver
  Protein purification and crystallization artifacts -- PDB codes that can be used to detect crystallization artifacts using MR
  Molstack -- Platform for sharing electron density maps and their interpretations

Recent Structures

All structures are available with links

Selected Lab Alumni

  • Maks Chruszcz, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina
  • Arjun Dayal, MD Candidate, University of Chicago
  • Katarzyna Koclega, Key Account Manager, Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+ Ltd, Poland
  • Krzysztof Lewinski, Professor, Jagellonian University, Cracow, Poland
  • Hai Bin Luo, Professor, Research Center for Drug Discovery, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • Karolina Majorek, Research Scientist at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Robert Nicholls, Research Fellow, MRC Cambridge, UK
  • Janusz Petkowski, Researcher, MIT
  • Pawel Sledź, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • James Spencer, Senior Lecturer, School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol
  • Diana Tomchick, Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Aleksandra Zalcman, Quant Developer at Swiss Quant Group AG
  • Matthew Zimmerman, CCRi (Commonwealth Computer Research, Inc), Charlottesville, VA

Selected Publications

  1. Zheng H, Cooper DR, Porebski PJ, Shabalin IG, Handing KB, Minor W (2017)
    CheckMyMetal: a macromolecular metal-binding validation tool.
    Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol 73: 223-233 Times cited: 4 [Pub Med ID: 28291757] [Pub Med Central ID: PMC5349434]
  2. Minor W, Dauter Z, Helliwell JR, Jaskolski M, Wlodawer A (2016)
    Safeguarding Structural Data Repositories against Bad Apples.
    Structure 24: 216-20 Times cited: 10 [Pub Med ID: 26840827] [Pub Med Central ID: PMC4743038]
  3. Zimmerman MD, Grabowski M, Domagalski MJ, Maclean EM, Chruszcz M, Minor W (2014)
    Data management in the modern structural biology and biomedical research environment.
    Methods Mol. Biol. 1140: 1-25 Times cited: 10 [Pub Med ID: 24590705] [Pub Med Central ID: PMC4086192]
  4. Shumilin IA, Cymborowski M, Chertihin O, Jha KN, Herr JC, Lesley SA, Joachimiak A, Minor W (2012)
    Identification of unknown protein function using metabolite cocktail screening.
    Structure 20: 1715-25 Times cited: 19 [Pub Med ID: 22940582] [Pub Med Central ID: PMC3472112]
  5. Kirillova O, Chruszcz M, Shumilin IA, Skarina T, Gorodichtchenskaia E, Cymborowski M, Savchenko A, Edwards A, Minor W (2007)
    An extremely SAD case: structure of a putative redox-enzyme maturation protein from Archaeoglobus fulgidus at 3.4 A resolution.
    Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 63: 348-54 Times cited: 23 [Pub Med ID: 17327672]
  6. Minor W, Cymborowski M, Otwinowski Z, Chruszcz M (2006)
    HKL-3000: the integration of data reduction and structure solution--from diffraction images to an initial model in minutes.
    Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 62: 859-66 Times cited: 758 [Pub Med ID: 16855301]
  7. Otwinowski Z, Borek D, Majewski W, Minor W (2003)
    Multiparametric scaling of diffraction intensities.
    Acta Crystallogr., A, Found. Crystallogr. 59: 228-34 Times cited: 561 [Pub Med ID: 12714773]
  8. Otwinowski Z, Minor W (1997)
    Processing of X-ray diffraction data collected in oscillation mode.
    Meth. Enzymol. 276: 307-26 Times cited: 32,814 [Pub Med ID: 27754618]
  9. Minor W, Steczko J, Stec B, Otwinowski Z, Bolin JT, Walter R, Axelrod B (1996)
    Crystal structure of soybean lipoxygenase L-1 at 1.4 A resolution.
    Biochemistry 35: 10687-701 Times cited: 344 [Pub Med ID: 8718858]
  10. Minor W, Steczko J, Bolin JT, Otwinowski Z, Axelrod B (1993)
    Crystallographic determination of the active site iron and its ligands in soybean lipoxygenase L-1.
    Biochemistry 32: 6320-3 Times cited: 137 [Pub Med ID: 8518276]