Prof Neil Ranson

BSc, PhD 1997, Bristol

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Background: PhD in Mechanistic Enzymology at the University of Bristol with Professor Tony Clarke, followed by Post-doctoral work cross-training into structural biology with Professor Helen Saibil at Birbkeck College London

Contact: Astbury 8.108, +44(0) 113 34 37065, email address for  

You can read more about Prof Ranson's interests here:

Research Interests

Cryo-EM of Macromolecular Assemblies including viruses and amyloids

Faculty Research and Innovation

Studentship information

See also:

Modules managed

BIOL3399 - Extended Research Project Preparation

Modules taught

BIOC1301 - Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life
BIOC1303 - Introductory Biochemistry: Problem Solving and Data Handling
BIOC2301 - Intermediate Integrated Biochemistry
BIOC2303 - Intermediate Biochemistry: Skills
BIOC3111/12/BIOL3112/MICR3120 A - ATU - Visualising Viruses
BIOC3221/22/31/32/BIOL3210/11/MICR3211/12 - MCB ATU modules (all)
BIOL3306 - Biological Sciences Research Project
BIOL3399 - Extended Research Project Preparation
BIOL5112M/5312M - Bioimaging
BIOL5372M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies
BIOL5382M - Extended Research Project
BIOL5394M - Specialised Research Topics and Skills
BIOW5901X - Foundation module
BIOW5905X - Membrane proteins
BMSC2120 - Scientific Skills
FOBS1135/BIOL1112 - The Basis of Life/The molecules of life

Centre membership: The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology

Group Leader Prof Neil Ranson  (Professor)

Cryo-EM of Macromolecular Assemblies including viruses and amyloids  

Dr Emma Hesketh  (Cryo-Electron Microscopy Support Scientist and Research Fellow)

Dr Matthew Iadanza  (Research Fellow)


Daniel Hurdiss (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
David Nicholson (Primary supervisor) 34% FTE
Francis Hopkins (Co-supervisor) 33% FTE
Nicholas Hurst (Co-supervisor) 40% FTE
Safi Kani Masandi (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE
Ethan Morgan (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Brendan Rogers (Co-supervisor) 33% FTE
Jaskiran Sabharwal (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE
Amelia Shaw (Co-supervisor) 33% FTE
Lorelai Vennard (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE

Hurdiss DL, Frank M, Snowden JS, Macdonald A, Ranson NA The Structure of an Infectious Human Polyomavirus and Its Interactions with Cellular Receptors Structure 26 839-847.e3, 2018
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Drulyte I, Johnson RM, Hesketh EL, Hurdiss DL, Scarff CA, Porav SA, Ranson NA, Muench SP, Thompson RF Approaches to altering particle distributions in cryo-electron microscopy sample preparation Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology 74 560-571, 2018
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Hesketh EL, Saunders K, Fisher C, Potze J, Stanley J, Lomonossoff GP, Ranson NA The 3.3Å structure of a plant geminivirus using cryo-EM Nature Communications, 2018

Panou MM, Prescott EL, Hurdiss DL, Swinscoe G, Hollinshead M, Caller LG, Morgan EL, Carlisle L, Müller M, Antoni M, Kealy D, Ranson NA, Crump CM, Macdonald A Agnoprotein is an essential egress factor during BK Polyomavirus infection International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, 2018
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Baggen J, Hurdiss DL, Zocher G, Mistry N, Roberts RW, Slager JJ, Guo H, Van Vliet ALW, Wahedi M, Benschop K, Duizer E, De Haan CAM, De Vries E, Casasnovas JM, De Groot RJ, Arnberg N, Stehle T, Ranson NA, Thibaut HJ, Van Kuppeveld FJM A role of enhanced receptor engagement in the evolution of a pandemic acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis virus Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 397-402, 2018
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Meshcheriakova Y, Durrant A, Hesketh EL, Ranson NA, Lomonossoff GP Combining high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy and mutagenesis to develop cowpea mosaic virus for bionanotechnology Biochemical Society Transactions 45 1263-1269, 2017
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Hesketh EL, Meshcheriakova Y, Thompson RF, Lomonossoff GP, Ranson NA The structures of a naturally empty cowpea mosaic virus particle and its genome-containing counterpart by cryo-electron microscopy Scientific Reports 7, 2017
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Higgins AJ, Iadanza MG, Schiffrin B, Calabrese AN, Humes JR, Brockwell DJ, Ashcroft AE, Ranson NA, Radford SE Lateral opening in the intact beta-barrel assembly machinery captured by cryo-EM, 2017

Patel N, White SJ, Thompson RF, Bingham R, Weiß EU, Maskell DP, Zlotnick A, Dykeman EC, Tuma R, Twarock R, Ranson NA, Stockley PG HBV RNA pre-genome encodes specific motifs that mediate interactions with the viral core protein that promote nucleocapsid assembly Nature Microbiology 2, 2017
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Dobson CL, Devine PWA, Phillips JJ, Higazi DR, Lloyd C, Popovic B, Arnold J, Buchanan A, Lewis A, Goodman J, Van Der Walle CF, Thornton P, Vinall L, Lowne D, Aagaard A, Olsson LL, Wollberg AR, Welsh F, Karamanos TK, Pashley CL, Iadanza MG, Ranson NA, Ashcroft AE, Kippen AD, Vaughan TJ, Radford SE, Lowe DC Engineering the surface properties of a human monoclonal antibody prevents self-association and rapid clearance in vivo Scientific Reports 6, 2016
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Iadanza MG, Higgins AJ, Schiffrin B, Calabrese AN, Brockwell DJ, Ashcroft AE, Radford SE, Ranson NA Lateral opening in the intactβ-barrel assembly machinery captured by cryo-EM Nature Communications 7, 2016
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Rawson S, Iadanza MG, Ranson NA, Muench SP Corrigendum to‘Methods to account for movement and flexibility in cryo-EM data processing’ [Methods (2016) 100 (35–41)] Methods 104 207-207, 2016

Rawson S, Iadanza MG, Ranson NA, Muench SP Methods to account for movement and flexibility in cryo-EM data processing Methods 100 35-41, 2016
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Thompson RF, Walker M, Siebert CA, Muench SP, Ranson NA An introduction to sample preparation and imaging by cryo-electron microscopy for structural biology Methods 100 3-15, 2016
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Huynh NAT, Hesketh EAL, Saxena P, Meshcheriakova Y, Ku YC, Hoang LAT, Johnson JAE, Ranson NAA, Lomonossoff GAP, Reddy VAS Crystal Structure and Proteomics Analysis of Empty Virus-like Particles of Cowpea Mosaic Virus Structure 24 567-575, 2016
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Hurdiss DL, Morgan EL, Thompson RF, Prescott EL, Panou MM, Macdonald A, Ranson NA New Structural Insights into the Genome and Minor Capsid Proteins of BK Polyomavirus using Cryo-Electron Microscopy Structure 24 528-536, 2016
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Iadanza MG, Jackson MP, Radford SE, Ranson NA MpUL-multi: Software for Calculation of Amyloid Fibril Mass per Unit Length from TB-TEM Images Scientific Reports 6, 2016
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RolfssonÓ, Middleton S, Manfield IW, White SJ, Fan B, Vaughan R, Ranson NA, Dykeman E, Twarock R, Ford J, Cheng Kao C, Stockley PG Direct Evidence for Packaging Signal-Mediated Assembly of Bacteriophage MS2 Journal of Molecular Biology 428 431-448, 2016
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Stockley PG, White SJ, Dykeman E, Manfield I, Rolfsson O, Patel N, Bingham R, Barker A, Wroblewski E, Chandler-Bostock R, Weiß EU, Ranson NA, Tuma R, Twarock R Bacteriophage MS2 genomic RNA encodes an assembly instruction manual for its capsid. Bacteriophage 6 e1157666-, 2016
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Hesketh EL, Meshcheriakova Y, Dent KC, Saxena P, Thompson RF, Cockburn JJ, Lomonossoff GP, Ranson NA Mechanisms of assembly and genome packaging in an RNA virus revealed by high-resolution cryo-EM Nature Communications 6, 2015
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Tipping KW, Karamanos TK, Jakhria T, Iadanza MG, Goodchild SC, Tuma R, Ranson NA, Hewitt EW, Radford SE pH-induced molecular shedding drives the formation of amyloid fibril-derived oligomers Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 E5691-E5696, 2015
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Geraets JA, Dykeman EC, Stockley PG, Ranson NA, Twarock R Asymmetric Genome Organization in an RNA Virus Revealed via Graph-Theoretical Analysis of Tomographic Data PLoS Computational Biology 11, 2015
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Patel N, Dykeman EC, Coutts RHA, Lomonossoff GP, Rowlands DJ, Phillips SEV, Ranson N, Twarock R, Tuma R, Stockley PG, Johnson JE Revealing the density of encoded functions in a viral RNA Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 2227-2232, 2015
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Bakker SE, Groppelli E, Pearson AR, Stockley PG, Rowlands DJ, Ranson NA Limits of structural plasticity in a picornavirus capsid revealed by a massively expanded equine rhinitis A virus particle. Journal of Virology 88 6093-6099, 2014
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Goodchild SC, Sheynis T, Thompson R, Tipping KW, Xue W-F, Ranson NA, Beales PA, Hewitt EW, Radford SE β2-Microglobulin amyloid fibril-induced membrane disruption is enhanced by endosomal lipids and acidic pH. PLoS One 9 e104492-, 2014
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Young A, Stoilova-McPhie S, Rothnie A, Vallis Y, Harvey-Smith P, Ranson N, Kent H, Brodsky FM, Pearse BMF, Roseman A, Smith CJ Hsc70-induced changes in clathrin-auxilin cage structure suggest a role for clathrin light chains in cage disassembly Traffic 14 987-996, 2013
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Dent K, Thompson R, Barker A, Hiscox J, Barr J, Stockley P, Ranson N The Asymmetric Structure of an Icosahedral Virus Bound to Its Receptor Suggests a Mechanism for Genome Release Structure 21 1225-1234, 2013
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Young A, Stoilova-Mcphie S, Rothnie A, Vallis Y, Harvey-Smith P, Ranson N, Kent H, Brodsky FM, Pearse BMF, Roseman A, Smith CJ Hsc70-induced changes in clathrin-auxilin cage structure suggest a role for clathrin light chains in cage disassembly Traffic, 2013
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Stockley PG, Ranson NA, Twarock R A new paradigm for the roles of the genome in ssRNA viruses FUTURE VIROLOGY 8 531-543, 2013

Ariza A, Tanner SJ, Walter CT, Dent KC, Shepherd DA, Wu W, Matthews SV, Hiscox JA, Green TJ, Luo M, Elliott RM, Fooks AR, Ashcroft AE, Stonehouse NJ, Ranson NA, Barr JN, Edwards TA Nucleocapsid protein structures from orthobunyaviruses reveal insight into ribonucleoprotein architecture and RNA polymerization. Nucleic Acids Research 41 5912-5926, 2013
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Ford RJ, Barker AM, Bakker SE, Coutts RH, Ranson NA, Phillips SEV, Pearson AR, Stockley PG Sequence-specific, RNA-protein interactions overcome electrostatic barriers preventing assembly of satellite tobacco necrosis virus coat protein. J Mol Biol 425 1050-1064, 2013
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Keef T, Wardman JP, Ranson NA, Stockley PG, Twarock R Structural constraints on the three-dimensional geometry of simple viruses: Case studies of a new predictive tool Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography 69 140-150, 2013
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Stockley PG, Barker AM, Borodavka A, Ford RJ, Pearson AR, Ranson NA, Tuma R, Twarock R, Dykeman E, Phillips SEV, Bakker SE Packaging signals in single-stranded RNA viruses: nature's alternative to a purely electrostatic assembly mechanism Journal of Biological Physics 1-11, 2013
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Bakker SE, Ford RJ, Barker AM, Robottom J, Saunders K, Pearson AR, Ranson NA, Stockley PG Isolation of an asymmetric RNA uncoating intermediate for a single-stranded RNA plant virus. J Mol Biol 417 65-78, 2012
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Toropova K, Stockley PG, Ranson NA Visualising a Viral RNA Genome Poised for Release from Its Receptor Complex J MOL BIOL 408 408-419, 2011

Dykeman EC, Grayson NE, Toropova K, Ranson NA, Stockley PG, Twarock R Simple Rules for Efficient Assembly Predict the Layout of a Packaged Viral RNA J MOL BIOL 408 399-407, 2011

Rolfsson O, Toropova K, Ranson NA, Stockley PG Mutually-induced Conformational Switching of RNA and Coat Protein Underpins Efficient Assembly of a Viral Capsid J MOL BIOL 401 309-322, 2010

RolfssonÓ, Toropova K, Ranson NA, Stockley PG Mutually-induced conformational switching of RNA and coat protein underpins efficient assembly of a viral capsid. J Mol Biol 401 309-322, 2010
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Carter SD, Dent KC, Atkins E, Foster TL, Verow M, Gorny P, Harris M, Hiscox JA, Ranson NA, Griffin S, Barr JN Direct visualization of the small hydrophobic protein of human respiratory syncytial virus reveals the structural basis for membrane permeability FEBS LETT 584 2786-2790, 2010

Ranson NA, Stockley PG Cryo-electron microscopy of viruses In Emerging Topics in Physical Virology, 2010
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Toropova K, Basnak G, Twarock R, Stockley PG, Ranson NA The three-dimensional structure of genomic RNA in bacteriophage MS2: Implications for assembly J MOL BIOL 375 824-836, 2008

Rolfsson O, Toropova K, Morton V, Francese S, Basnak G, Thompson GS, Homans SW, Ashcroft AE, Stonehouse NJ, Ranson NA, Stockley PG RNA packing specificity and folding during assembly of the bacteriophage MS2 COMPUT MATH METHOD M 9 339-349, 2008

Toropova K, Basnak G, Twarock R, Stockley PG, Ranson NA The three-dimensional structure of genomic RNA in bacteriophage MS2: Implications for assembly, 2007

Ranson NA, Stromer T, Bousset L, Melki R, Serpell LC Insights into the architecture of the Ure2p yeast protein assemblies from helical twisted fibrils Protein Science 15 2481-2487, 2006
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Ranson NA, Clare DK, Farr GW, Houldershaw D, Horwich AL, Saibil HR Allosteric signaling of ATP hydrolysis in GroEL-GroES complexes NAT STRUCT MOL BIOL 13 147-152, 2006

Stockley PG, Ashcroft AE, Francese S, Thompson GS, Ranson NA, Smith AM, Homans SW, Stonehouse NJ Dissecting the fine details of assembly of a T=3 capsid Journal of Theoretical Medicine 6 119-125, 2005

Saibil HR, Ranson NA The chaperonin folding machine TRENDS BIOCHEM SCI 27 627-632, 2002

Ranson NA, Farr GW, Roseman AM, Gowen B, Fenton WA, Horwich AL, Saibil HR ATP-Bound States of GroEL Captured by Cryo-Electron Microscopy Cell 107 869-879, 2001

Roseman AM, Ranson NA, Gowen BT, Fuller SD, Saibil HR Structures of Unliganded and ATP-Bound States of the Escherichia coli Chaperonin GroEL by Cryoelectron Microscopy Journal of Structural Biology 135 115-125, 2001
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Roseman AM, Ranson NA, Gowen B, Fuller SD, Saibil HR The ATP-bound state of the E Coli Chaperonin GroEL studied by Cryo-Electron Microscopy Journal of Structural Biology 135 115-125, 2001

Farr GW, Furtak K, Rowland MB, Ranson NA, Saibil HR, Kirchhausen T, Horwich AL Multivalent binding of nonnative substrate proteins by the chaperonin GroEL. Cell 100 561-573, 2000
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Nouwen N, Ranson N, Saibil H, Wolpensinger B, Engel A, Ghazi A, Pugsley AP Secretin PulD: association with pilot PulS, structure, and ion-conducting channel formation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96 8173-8177, 1999
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Ranson NA, White HE, Saibil HR Chaperonins. The Biochemical journal 333 ( Pt 2) 233-242, 1998
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Kad NM, Ranson NA, Cliff MJ, Clarke AR Asymmetry, commitment and inhibition in the GroE ATPase cycle impose alternating functions on the two GroEL rings. Journal of molecular biology 278 267-278, 1998
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Ranson NA, Burston SG, Clarke AR Binding, encapsulation and ejection: substrate dynamics during a chaperonin-assisted folding reaction. Journal of molecular biology 266 656-664, 1997
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Ranson NA, Dunster NJ, Burston SG, Clarke AR Chaperonins can catalyse the reversal of early aggregation steps when a protein misfolds. Journal of molecular biology 250 581-586, 1995
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Burston SG, Ranson NA, Clarke AR The origins and consequences of asymmetry in the chaperonin reaction cycle. Journal of molecular biology 249 138-152, 1995
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Chen S, Roseman AM, Hunter AS, Wood SP, Burston SG, Ranson NA, Clarke AR, Saibil HR Location of a folding protein and shape changes in GroEL-GroES complexes imaged by cryo-electron microscopy. Nature 371 261-264, 1994
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