Ng Group at Diamond


The Ng Group employs integrative structural, functional, and computational methodologies to provide a comprehensive understanding of viral glycoprotein architecture and functionality.

Our research consists of three major areas:

1. High-resolution structures of mature, oligomeric viral glycoproteins. Our group focuses on high-resolution structural characterisation of glycoproteins presented by enveloped RNA viruses (e.g., bornavirus and lyssavirus). Through a combination of structural biology techniques (X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM) and computational approaches, we aim to achieve an atomistic understanding of the roles played by viral glycoproteins during the host cell entry process and provide a molecular-level blueprint for key vaccine targets.

2. Virus-host interactions. Our group has a particular interest in the development, characterisation, and optimisation of neutralising and protective monoclonal antibodies and looks to identify sites of vulnerability that may be targeted through rational vaccine design. In line with this aim, the group generates vaccine immunogens for immunisation and designs an AI-powered antibody optimisation tool. Additionally, to delineate the specificity underlying the host cell entry process, we utilise high-throughput protein interaction screening assay to identify host receptors for viral entry. 

3. Native conformation and glycan profiling. Vaccine development focusing on using viral surface glycoproteins as immunogens necessitates correct protein presentation to elicit a robust immune response. By utilising mass spectrometry and cryo-electron tomography, our group investigates the significance of viral glycobiology as a critical parameter during vaccine design and examines the native glycoprotein conformation induced by various vaccine constructs and delivery strategies.

The Ng Group collaborates with researchers from the UK, Germany, and Australia.

Our strategic location at the Research Complex at Harwell, next to Diamond Light Source and the Electron Bio-Imaging Centre, provides the Ng Group with access to state-of-the-art facilities for X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, in addition to equipment for a wide range of sample preparation, biochemical, and biophysical techniques.