The life and work of Professor John Squire

This Topical Collection of the Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility is to commemorate the life and scientific work of Professor John Michael Squire. It follows from the Memorial Meeting held in his honour on 17 March 2022 at Imperial College London. We gathered eminent scientists from different fields who had collaborated or were associated with John to talk about their research and the impact John had on them. They kindly agreed to write up their talks for this issue. John Squire was internationally renowned for his cutting-edge research, both experimental and theoretical, on the structural basis of muscle contraction. Over a very productive research career spanning 51 years, John made a number of seminal discoveries on the structure and function of muscle: these include the steric blocking model of thin filament regulation (with David Parry) and a general model for the packing and assembly of myosin molecules in thick filaments. The latter, published in 1971, was only fully verified in recent years with the aid of new technology. In addition, John was a prolific writer and editor of books and special issues of scientific journals that significantly advanced the fields of both muscle and fibrous protein research.


  • Pradeep Luther

    Pradeep Luther obtained his PhD in Biophysics at Imperial College London under the supervision of John Squire. The focus of his research is the molecular structure of muscle sarcomere and its relation to the function. His main technique is electron microscopy, electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to investigate the fine structure of muscle. Pradeep’s special achievements are the discovery of the superlattice in vertebrate muscle and characterization of shrinkage of plastic sections in the electron microscope and its effects on 3D structure. Pradeep is on the editorial board of Biology journal.

  • Ed Morris

    Dr Edward Morris specialises in the use of electron microscopy to determine the structure of large protein complexes. After his PhD at Kings College, London, he worked at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Kings College before joining John Squire’s group at Imperial College, subsequently moving to John Squire’s newly formed research division in the Imperial College Medical School. In 2006 he moved to the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), to set up a new electron microscope lab. After retiring from ICR in October 2020 he retains his ICR affiliation as well as being an honorary senior research fellow at Glasgow University.

  • David Parry

    Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Biophysics, Vice President of the International Council for Science (ICSU), President of the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB), Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and recipient of the ICI Prize for Excellence in the Chemical Sciences, the Sir Charles Hercus Medal for Biomedical and Health Sciences Research, the inaugural Massey University Research Medal, the Shorland Medal, the Dan Walls Medal, the Rutherford Medal. 240 scientific papers on fibrous proteins, a book on Intermediate Filaments and editor of 11 books or special journal issues.

  • Kenneth Taylor

    Kenneth A. Taylor obtained his PhD in Biophysics at U. C. Berkeley in Robert Glaeser’s laboratory, work which started the field of cryoEM. He spent nearly four-years at the MRC Lab. of Molecular Biology applying 3-D image reconstruction to muscle research, which he continued after joining the Duke University Medical Center in 1980 and after relocation to Florida State University in 1995. Among his notable achievements are the first 3-D images of actively contracting muscle, the first structure of the inhibiting interaction between myosin heads, and recently the first atomic resolution structure of the -helical coiled-coil domain of myosin.

Articles (11 in this collection)