Andrew J. Howard

  • Associate Professor of Biology and Physics


B.S. Pomona College (1975)
Ph.D. Physics, University of California, San Diego (1981)

Research Interests

Prof. Howard is the author of the widely-used X-GEN software package for processing macromolecular diffraction data, and continues to develop crystallographic software. He participates in methods development for crystallography at the beamlines of Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team (SER-CAT) at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. His lab undertakes structural studies of cholera toxin, Vitreoscilla hemoglobin, dystrophin, and other proteins.

Prof. Howard's research includes:

  1. Crystallographic software development at SER-CAT Robotics and data management tools for crystallography
  2. Development of massive data archives for crystallographic data images.
  3. Expression, purification, and structure determination on cholera toxin complexes, bacterial hemoglobin mutants, constructs derived from human dystrophin, and other proteins.
  4. Crystallographic educational projects.


Prof. Howard's accomplishments include:

  1. Development of a 100,000-line data processing software package used worldwide for macromolecular diffraction.
  2. Management and leadership in building a two-beamline facility for pharmaceutical crystallography from 1996-2002.
  3. Co-PI on a productive structural genomics project, 1997-2009.
  4. Director, American Crystallographic Association's Summer School in Macromolecular Crystallography, 2002-2008.
  5. Co-Director of IIT's Masters in Health Physics program, 2001-2011.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Crystallographic Association
  • American Chemical Society


  • Elected member, Data Standards & Computing Committee of the American Crystallographic Association (current)
  • Founding chair, Advanced Photon Source CAT Directors' Council (1997-1999)
  • Chair, Gordon Conference on Diffraction Methods in Molecular Biology, 2000


Howard, A. (2002) Macromolecular crystallography at third-generation synchrotron sources. Chapter for Third Generation Hard X-ray Synchrotron Radiation Sources: Source Properties, Optics, and Experimental Techniques. D.M. Mills, ed. Wiley: 406pp.

Howard, A.J. (2000) Data processing in macromolecular crystallography. Chapter in: Crystallographic Computing 7: Proceedings from the Macromolecular Crystallographic Computing School, 1996. P.E. Bourne and K.D. Watenpaugh, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Eisenstein, E., Gilliland, G.L., Herzberg, O., Moult, J., Orban, J., Poljak, R.J., Banerjei, L., Richardson, D., and Howard, A.J. (2000) Biological function made crystal clear - annotation of hypothetical proteins via structural genomics. Current Opinions in Biotechnology 11: 25-30.

Jin, T., Guo, F., Kim, S., Howard, A., and Zhang, Y.-Z. (2007) X-ray crystal structure of TNF ligand family member TL1A at 2.1 Å. Biochem.Biophys.Res.Comm. 364: 1-6.

Kim, S.-K., Reddy, S.K., Nelson, B.C., Vasquez, G.B., Davis, A., Howard, A.J., Patterson, S., Gilliland, G.L., Ladner, J.E., and Reddy, P.T. (2006) Biochemical and Structural Characterization of the Secreted Chorismate Mutase (Rv1885c) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv: an *AroQ Enzyme Not Regulated by the Aromatic Amino Acids J. Bacteriol. 188: 8638-8648.


  • Development of X-GEN, a crystallographic data processing software package
  • Optimization of a Vitreoscilla hemoglobin protein-expression plasmid (Park et al (2003), Plasmid 50:169)
  • Structural studies of spin states in Pseudomonas cytochrome C peroxidase
  • Structural studies of cholera toxin in complex with human ARF-6 protein
  • Structural genomics studies of proteins from Haemophilus
  • Structural genomics studies of multiple-splice variants
  • Beamline software development at Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team
  • Development of an independent, Python-based crystallographic data processing software system
  • Optimizations of crystallographic data collection strategies under conditions of rapid sample decay
  • Providing user support at SER-CAT
  • Expression and purification of Vibrio cholerae toxin A subunit in complex with the human proteins ARF-6 and ARF-1


  • SER-CAT software development and user support (University of Georgia), 2002-present
  • NIH subcontract through University of Maryland for structural genomics, 1997-2008
  • IMCA-CAT contract: Director and PI, 1996-2002; Chief Scientific Officer, 2002-2004

Community Service

  • Judge for annual Junior Science & Humanities Symposium, 1999-present
  • Frequent judge for high-school science fairs
  • Mentor for K-12 science teachers, 1999, 2003, 2008-present
  • NIH Small Business Grant special study section member, 1992-present


  • Macromolecular crystallography, particularly methods development
  • Protein expression and purification
Andrew Howard

Contact Information

312.567.5881 312.567.3576 292 Pritzker Science Center TR 10:30am - 1:00pm