Thi Thanh My Nguyen

I come from a small fishing village in Vietnam and grew up near the North Sea in Germany. Living close to the sea my whole life, I enjoy being at the coast in any kind of weather. I did my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Biology at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, where I had the opportunity to test the water in different research institutions such as the “Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research UK” in Salford and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Learning about research from different perspectives I recognised that I had a broad interest in science, that important problems can be solved with interdisciplinary research.
However, I wanted to research a topic in more detail, which led me to my current position in the RAMP network.

University of Bristol

start date | 18/09/2017

supervisor | Jennifer McManus 


Experimental phase diagrams to optimise membrane protein crystallization

The aim of the RAMP network is to Rationalize Membrane Protein Crystallization, which, if successful, will make it easier to crystallize membrane proteins.My part in the project is to work towards better strategies to enable logical/rational approaches to membrane protein crystallization. Working as part of the Soft Matter group at Maynooth University, I will be measuring equilibrium phase diagrams for membrane proteins.

Phase diagrams are maps of how a protein behaves for a particular set of solution conditions and have been useful in optimising crystallization conditions for many globular proteins. However, the approach is less widely applied to membrane proteins, and a number of challenges need to be overcome to do so – like finding equilibrium!  However, if we overcome these challenges, we may open up new routes to more successful membrane protein crystallization or improve the quality of the crystals that can be formed.

Original project advert

Skills & Expertise

#Protein crystallization

#Protein crystallography

#Phase diagrams

#Structural biology

#Membrane proteins



European Spallation Source (Sweden), November 2019

University of Surrey (UK), February & September 2019

Imperial College London (UK), January 2019

Workshops & conferences

The 12th European Biophysics Congress – EBSA | Madrid, July 2019

Structure and mechanism of membrane proteins | Birmingham (UK), August 2018

Outreach activities

My has not just been doing her research, she has also been involved in science communication activities to engage citizens with science.

Participating online to the European Week for Waste Reduction 2020 (EWWR): Infographics to address Sustainability in research| November 2020

Participating to the challenge and the event ‘Research without Borders’ organized by the University of Bristol| May 2020

Participating to the event “Crystals made of tears: from misery to cheer” at The Devereux pub in central London | July 2019

Blogging about science and PhD life| see all blogposts from My: Portrait, What I am doing while waiting for my crystals to grow, First secondment at Imperial College London in the lab of Prof. Bernadette Byrne, My (ESR 9)’s experience in the recent RAMP research workshop “in meso in depth” at Dublin & Maynooth