William Heller

William Heller

Position: Instrument Scientist

Instrument: Extended Q-Range Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Diffractometer

Group: Structure and Dynamics of Soft Matter

Division: Biology and Soft Matter Division

Facility: Spallation Neutron Source

Contact: hellerwt@ornl.gov or (865) 574-4160

William Heller is the lead instrument scientist for EQ-SANS at SNS and is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Molecular & Structural Biology at North Carolina State University. Some highlights of his work include:.

  • 1999-2002: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Supervisor: Jill Trewhella, Ph.D.
  • 2002-2004: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Condensed Matter Sciences Division and Center for Structural Molecular Biology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Supervisors: Michelle V. Buchanan, Ph.D., George D. Wignall, Ph.D., and Dean A. A. Myles, Ph.D.
  • 2004-2008: Chemist/Biophysicist Research Associate, Chemical Sciences Division and Center for Structural Molecular Biology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 2009-2011: Team Leader for Low-Q Software Development Effort, Neutron Scattering Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 2008-2011: Chemist/Biophysicist Research Scientist, Center for Structural Molecular Biology, Chemical Sciences Division and Neutron Scattering Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • 2009-Present: Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Molecular & Structural Biochemistry, North Carolina State University.
  • 2011-Present: Lead Instrument Scientist, EQ-SANS Instrument, Neutron Scattering Sciences Division and Biology and Soft Matter Division.

Education

B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, 1993, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.A. in Physics, 1996, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Ph.D. in Physics, 1999, Rice University; Houston, TX; Thesis Advisor: Prof. H. W. Huang

Research

Biological Physics of the Cell Membrane

- The relationship between intermolecular interactions and large-scale self-assembled structures

- The role of the protein-lipid interaction on structure and function

Ionic Liquids

- The impact of ionic liquids on molecular and supramolecular structures

Computational Modeling for Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

- Methods for incorporating known chemistry and physics

- Problem-specific modeling methods

Selected Publications

65. Blumenthal D. K., Copps, J., Smith-Nguyen, E. V., Zhang, P., Heller, W. T. and Taylor S. S., “The Roles of the RIIβ Linker and N-Terminal Cyclic Nucleotide Binding Domain in Determining the Unique Structures of the Type IIβ Protein Kinase A: A Small-Angle X-ray and Neutron Scattering Study,” J. Biol. Chem. 289: 28505-28512 (2014).

64. Qian, S., Rai, D. and Heller, W. T., “Alamethicin Disrupts the Cholesterol Distribution in Dimyristoyl Phosphatidylcholine-Cholesterol Lipid Bilayers,” J. Phys. Chem. B 118: 11200-11208 (2014).

63. Heller, W. T., Urban, V. S., Lynn, G. W., Weiss, K. L., O’Neill, H. M., Pingali, S. V., Qian, S., Littrell, K. C., Melnichenko, Y. B., Buchanan, M. V., Selby, D. L., Wignall, G. D., Butler, P. D. and Myles, D. A., “The Bio-SANS Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” J. Appl. Crystallogr. 47: 1238-1246 (2014).

62. Khejeh, J, A., Ju, J. H., Atchiba, M., Allaire, M., Stanley, C., Heller, W. T., Callaway, D. J. E. and Bu, Z., “Molecular Conformation of the Full-Length Tumor Suppressor NF2/Merlin – A Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Study,” J. Mol. Biol. 426: 2755-2768 (2014).

61. Gerlits, O., Das, A., Keshwani, M. M., Taylor, S., Waltman, M. J., Langan, P., Heller, W. T. and Kovalevsky, A., “Metal-free cAMP-dependent Protein Kinase can Catalyze Phosphoryl Transfer,” Biochemistry 53: 3179-3186 (2014).

60. Le, R., Harris, B., Iwuchukwu, I., Bruce, B. D., Cheng, X., Qian, S., Heller, W. T., O’Neill, H. and Frymier, P., “Analysis of the Solution Structure of Thermosynechococcus elongatus Photosystem I in n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside using Small-Angle Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulation,” Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 550-551: 50-57 (2014).

59. Wang, H., Gurau, G., Pingali, S. V., O’Neill, H. M., Evans, B. R., Urban, V. S., Heller, W. T. and Rogers, R. D., “Physical Insight into Switchgrass Dissolution in the Ionic Liquid 1-Ethyl-3-Methylimidazolium Acetate,” ACS Sus. Chem. Eng 2: 1264-1269 (2014).

58. Langan, P., Petridis, L., O’Neill, H. M., Pingali, S. V., Foston, M., Nishiyama, Y., Hanson, B. L., Harton, S., Heller, W. T., Urban, V., Evans, B. R., Gnanakaran, S., Ragauskas, A. J., Smith, J, C. and Davison, B., “The Physical Process Driving Biomass Pretreatment for Bioproducts,” Green Chem. 16: 63-68 (2014).

57. Do, C., Heller, W. T., Stanley, C., Gallmeier, F. X., Doucet, M. and Smith, G. S., “Understanding Inelastically Scattered Neutrons from Water on a Time-of-Flight Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) Instrument,” Nucl. Inst. Meth. Phys. Res. A 737: 42-46 (2014).

56. Yu, D., An, K., Gao, C. Y., Heller, W. T. and Chen, X., “A Portable Hydro-Thermo-Mechanical Loading Cell for in-situ Small Angle Neutron Scattering Studies of Proton Exchange Membranes,” Rev. Sci. Inst. 84: 105115 (2013).

55. Alonzo, J., Kochemba, W. M., Pickel, D. L., Ramanathan, M., Sumpter, B. G., Heller, W. T., Kilbey, S. M., II, “Assembly and Organization of Poly(3-Hexylthiophene) (P3HT) Brushes and Their Potential Use as Novel Anode Buffer Layers for Organic Photovoltaics,” Nanoscale 5: 9357-9364 (2013).

54. Martin, S. L., He, L. L., Meilleur F., Guenther, R. H., Sit, T. L., Lommel, S. A. and Heller, W. T., “Structure of the Red Clover Necrotic Mosaic Virus Probed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering,” Arch. Virol. 158: 1661-1669 (2013).

53. Li, S., Zhao, X., Mo, Y., Cummings, P. T. and Heller, W. T., “Human Serum Albumin Interactions with C60 Fullerene Studied by Spectroscopy, Small-Angle Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulations,” J. Nanopart. Res. 15: 1769 (2013).

52. McCulloch, B., Ho, V., Hoarfrost, M., Stanley, C., Do, C., Heller, W. T., Segalman, R. A., “Polymer Chain Shape of Poly(3-alkyl thiophenes) in Solution Using Small-Angle Neutron Scattering,” Macromolecules 46: 1899-1907 (2013).

51. Dyer, C., Jiang, Z., Bozell, J., Rials, T., Heller, W. T., Dadmun, M., “Effect of Chain Structure on the Miscibility of Cellulose Acetate Blends: A Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Study,” Soft Matter 9: 3402-3411 (2013).

50. Heller, W. T., “Comparison of the Thermal Denaturing of Human Serum Albumin in the Presence of Guanidine Hydrochloride and 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Ionic Liquids,” J. Phys. Chem. B 117: 2378-2383 (2013).

49. Choi, I., Malak, S. T., Xu, W., Heller, W. T., Tsitsilianis, C., and Tsukruk, V. V., “Multicompartmental Microcapsules from Star Copolymer Micelles,” Macromolecules 46: 1425-1436 (2013).

48. Brosey, C. A., Yan, C., Tsutakawa, S. E., Heller, W. T., Rambo, R. P., Tainer, J. A., Ivanov, I. and Chazin, W. J., “A New Structural Framework for Integrating Replication Protein A into DNA Processing Machinery,” Nuc. Acid Res. 41: 2313-2327 (2013).

47. Wignall, G. D., Littrell, K. C., Heller, W. T., Melnichenko, Y. B., Bailey, K. M., Lynn, G. W., Myles, D. A., Urban, V. S., Buchanan, M. V., Selby, D. L. and Butler, P. D., “The 40m General Purpose Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Instrument,” J. Appl. Crystallogr. 45: 990-998
(2012).

46. Langan, P., Evans, B. R., Foston, M., Heller, W. T., O’Neill, H., Petridis, L., Pingali, S. V., Ragauskas, A. J., Smith, J. C., Urban, V. S. and Davison, B., “Neutron Technologies for Bioenergy Research,” Industrial Biotechnol. 8: 209-216 (2012).

45. He, L. L., Piper, A., Meilleur, F., Hernandez, R., Heller, W. T., Brown, D. T., “Conformational Changes in Sindbis Virus Induced by Decreased pH Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering,” J. Virol. 86: 1982-1987 (2012).

44. Pingali, S. V., O'Neill, H. M., McGaughey, J., Urban, V. S., Rempe C. S., Petridis, L., Smith, J. C., Evans, B. R. and Heller, W. T., “Small-angle Neutron Scattering Reveals a pH-dependent Conformational Change in Trichoderma reesei Cellobiohydrolase I: Implications for
Enzymatic Activity,” J. Biol. Chem. 286: 32801-32809 (2011).

43. Qian, S. and Heller, W. T., “Peptide-Induced Asymmetric Distribution of Charged Lipids in a Vesicle Bilayer Revealed by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering,” J. Phys. Chem. B 115: 9831-9837 (2011).

42. Petridis, L., Pingali, S. V., Urban, V., Heller, W. T., O'Neill, H. M., Foston, M., Ragauskas, A. and Smith, J. C., “Self-similar Multiscale Structure of Lignin Revealed by Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulation,” Phys. Rev. E. 83: 061911 (2011).

41. Wang, C. H., Baker, S. N., Lumsden, M. D., Nagler, S. E., Heller, W. T., Baker, G. A., Deen, P. D., Cranswick, L. M. D., Su, Y. and Christianson, A. D., “Antiferromagnetic Order in MnO Spherical Nanoparticles,” Phys. Rev. B. 83: 214418 (2011).

40. Baker, S. N., Zhao, H., Pandey, S., Heller, W. T., Bright, F. V. and Baker, G. A., “Fluorescence Energy Transfer Efficiency in Labeled Yeast Cytochrome c: A Rapid Screen for Ion Biocompatibility in Aqueous Ionic Liquids,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13: 3642-3644 (2011).

39. Cardoso, M. B., Smolensky, D., Heller, W. T., Hong, K. and O’Neill, H., “Supramolecular Assembly of Biohybrid Photoconversion Systems,” Energy & Env. Sci. 4: 181-188 (2011).

38. Cardoso, M. B., Smolensky, D., Heller, W. T. and O’Neill, H., “Investigation of Detergent Effects on the Solution Structure of Spinach Light Harvesting Complex II,” J. Phys. Conf. Series 251: 012041 (2010).

37. Mo, Y. and Heller, W. T., “SANS with Contrast Variation Study of the Bacteriorhodopsin-Octyl Glucoside Complex,” J. Phys. Conf. Series 251: 012042 (2010).

36. Heller W. T., O’Neill, H. M., Zhang, Q. and Baker, G. A., “Characterization of the Influence of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium Chloride on the Structure and Thermal Stability of Green Fluorescent Protein,” J. Phys. Chem. B 114: 13866-13871 (2010).

35. Heller W. T., “Small-angle Neutron Scattering and Contrast Variation: A Powerful Combination for Studying Biological Structures” Acta Crystallogr. D 66: 1213-1217 (2010).

34. Pingali, S. V., Urban, V. S., Heller, W. T., McGaughey, J., O’Neill, H. M., Foston, M., Myles D. A., Ragauskas, A. J. and Evans, B. R., “SANS Study of Cellulose Extracted from Switchgrass,” Acta Crystallogr. D 66: 1189-1193 (2010).

33. Pingali, S. V., Urban, V. S., Heller, W. T., McGaughey, J., O’Neill, H. M., Foston, M., Myles D. A., Ragauskas, A. and Evans, B. R., “Breakdown in Cell Wall Nanostructure in Dilute Acid Pretreated Biomass,” Biomacromolecules 11: 2329-2335 (2010).

32. He, L. L., Piper, A., Meilleur, F., Myles, D. A. A., Hernandez, R., Brown, D. T. and Heller, W. T., “The Structure of Sindbis Virus Produced from Vertebrate and Invertebrate Hosts Determined by Small-Angle Neutron Scattering,” J. Virol. 84: 5270-5276 (2010).

31. Cardoso, M. B., Smolensky, D., Heller, W. T. and O’Neill, H., “Structural Characterization of Light Harvesting Complex II: A Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Study,” J. Phys. Chem. B 113: 16377-16383 (2009).

30. Qui, X., Howe, J. Y., Cardoso, M. B., Heller, W. T. and Paranthaman, M. P., “Controlled Synthesis of Highly Ordered Anodic HfO2 Nanotube Arrays and a Possible Growth Mechanism,” Nanotechnology 20: 455601 (2009).

29. Baker, G. A. and Heller, W. T., “Small-angle neutron scattering studies of model protein denaturation in aqueous solutions of the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride,” Chem. Eng. J. 147: 6-12 (2009).

28. Quiroz-Valenzuela, S., Sukuro, C., Hausinger, R. P., Kuhn, L. A. and Heller, W. T., “Urease Activation Complexes Examined by Flexibility Analysis, Mutagenesis and Small-angle X-ray Scattering Approaches,” Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 480: 51-57 (2008).

27. Mo, Y., Lee, B.-K., Ankner, J. F., Becker, J. M. and Heller, W. T., “Detergent-associated Solution Conformations of Helical and Beta-barrel Membrane Proteins,” J. Phys. Chem. B. 112: 13349-13354 (2008).

26. Teixeira, S. C. M., Ankner, J., Bellissent-Funel, M. C., Bewley, R., Blakeley, M .P., Coates, L., Dahint, R., Dalgliesh, R., Dencher, N., Dhont, J., Fischer, P., Forsyth, V. T., Fragneto, G., Frick, B., Geue, T., Gilles, R., Gutberlet, T., Haertlein, M., Hauß, T., Häußler, W., Heller,
W. T., Herwig, K., Holderer, O., Juranyi, F., Kampmann, R., Knott, R., Kohlbrecher, J., Kreuger, S., Langan, P., Lechner, R., Lynn, G., Majkrzak, C., May, R., Meilleur, F., Mo, Y., Mortensen, K., Myles, D. A. A., Natali, F., Neylon, C., Niimura, N., Ollivier, J., Ostermann, A., Peters, J., Pieper, J., Rühm, A., Schwahn, D., Shibata, K., Soper, A.K., Straessle, T., Suzuki, U.-i., Tanaka, I., Tehei, M., Timmins, P., Torikai, N., Unruh, T., Urban, V., Vavrin, R., Weiss, K. and Zaccai, G. “New Sources and Instrumentation for Neutrons in Biology,” Chem. Phys. 345: 133-151 (2008).

25. Galea, C. A., Nourse, A., Wang, Y., Sivakolundu, S. G., Heller, W. T. and Kriwacki, R. W., “The Role of Intrinsic Flexibility in Signal Transduction Mediated by the Cell Cycle Regulator, p27Kip1,” J. Mol. Biol., 376: 827-838 (2008).

24. Tjioe, E. and Heller W. T., “ORNL_SAS: Software for Calculation of Small-angle Scattering Intensities from Bio-macromolecular Structures,” J. Appl. Crystallogr. 40: 782-785 (2007).

23. O’Neill, H., Helton, K. E., Heller, W. T., Urban V. S. and Greenbaum, E., “A Structural Study of Photosystem I-Detergent Complexes in Solution using Small-angle X-ray Scattering,” J. Phys. Chem. B. 111: 4211-4219 (2007).

22. Lynn, G. W., Heller, W., Urban, V., Wignall, G. D., Weiss, K., and Myles, D. A. A., “Bio-SANS-A Dedicated Facility for Neutron Structural Biology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” Physica B 385-386: 880-882 (2006).

21. Augustus, A. M., Reardon, P. N., Heller, W. T. and Spicer, L. D., “Structural Basis for the Differential Regulation of DNA by the Methionine Repressor MetJ,” J. Biol. Chem. 281: 34269-34276 (2006).

20. Woodward, J. D., Pickel, J. M., Anovitz, L. M., Heller, W. T. and Rondinone A. J., “Self-assembled Colloidal Crystals from Zr02 Nanoparticles,” J. Phys. Chem. B 110: 19456-19460 (2006).

19. Heller, W. T., “Ellstat: Shape Modelling for Solution Small-angle Scattering of Proteins and Protein Complexes with Automated Statistical Characterization,” J. Appl. Crystallogr. 39: 671-675 (2006).

18. Priddy, T. S., Macdonald, B. A., Heller W. T., Nadeau, O. W., Trewhella, J. and Carlson, G. M., “Ca2+-induced Structural Changes in Phosphorylase Kinase Detected by Small-angle X-ray Scattering,” Protein Science 14: 1039-1048 (2005).

17. Lynn, G. W., Heller, W. T., Mayasundari, A. Minor, K. H. and Peterson, C. B., “A Model for the Three-dimensional Structure of Human Plasma Vitronectin from Small-angle Scattering Measurements,” Biochemistry 44: 565-574 (2005).

16. Heller W. T., “Influence of Multiple Well-defined Conformations on Small-angle Scattering of Proteins in Solution,” Acta Crystallogr. D 61: 33-44 (2005).

15. Heller, W. T., Vigil, D., Brown, S., Blumenthal, D. K., Taylor, S. S., and Trewhella, J., “C Subunits Binding to the Protein Kinase A RIa Dimer Induces a Large Conformational Change,” J. Biol. Chem. 279: 19084-19090 (2004).

14. Vigil, D., Blumenthal, D. K., Heller, W. T., Brown, S., Taylor, S. S., and Trewhella, J., “Solution Structures and Conformational Changes of the Type Ia, IIa and IIb Protein Kinase A Regulatory Subunit Homodimers: Role of the Linker Regions,” J. Mol. Biol. 337: 1183-1194
(2004).

13. Heller, W. T., Krueger, J. K., and Trewhella, J., “Further Insights into Calmodulin-Myosin Light Chain Kinase Interaction from Solution Scattering and Shape Restoration,” Biochemistry 42: 10579-10588 (2003).

12. Heller, W. T., Finley, N., Dong, W.-J., Timmins, P., Cheung, H. C., Rosevear, P. R., and Trewhella, J., “Small-angle Neutron Scattering with Contrast Variation Reveals Spatial Relationships between the Three Subunits in the Ternary Cardiac Troponin Complex and the
Effects of Troponin I Phosphorylation,” Biochemistry 42: 7790-7800 (2003).

11. Harris, S. P., Heller, W. T., Greaser, M. L., Moss, R. L., and Trewhella, J., “Solution Structure of Heavy Meromyosin by Small-angle Scattering,” J. Biol. Chem. 278: 6034-6040 (2003).

10. Heller, W. T., Abusamhadneh, E., Finley, N., Rosevear, P. R. and Trewhella, J., “The Solution Structure of a Cardiac Troponin C-Troponin I-Troponin T Complex Shows a Somewhat Compact Troponin C Interacting with an Extended Troponin I-Troponin T,” Biochemistry
41: 15654-15663 (2002).

9. Heller, W. T., Waring, A. J., Lehrer, R. I., Harroun, T. A., Weiss, T. M., Yang, L., and Huang, H. W., “Membrane Thinning Effect by the Beta-Sheet Antimicrobial Protegrin,” Biochemistry 39: 139-145 (2000).

8. Yang, L., Weiss, T. M., Harroun, T. A., Heller, W. T., and Huang, H. W., “Supramolecular Structures of Peptide Assemblies in Membranes by Neutron Off-Plane Scattering: Method of Analysis,” Biophys. J. 77: 2648-2656 (1999).

7. Harroun, T. A., Heller, W. T., Weiss, T. M., Yang, L., and Huang, H. W., “Theoretical Analysis of Hydrophobic Matching and Membrane-Mediated Interactions in Lipid Bilayers Containing Gramicidin,” Biophys. J. 76: 3176-3185 (1999).

6. Harroun, T. A., Heller, W. T., Weiss, T. M., Yang, L., and Huang, H. W., “Direct Observation of Hydrophobic Matching and Membrane-Mediated Interactions in Lipid Bilayers Containing Gramicidin,” Biophys. J. 76: 937-945 (1999).

5. Heller, W. T., Waring, A. J., Lehrer, R. I., and Huang, H. W., “Multiple States of Beta-sheet Peptide Protegrin in Lipid Bilayers,” Biochemistry 37: 17331-17338 (1998).

4. Yang, L., Harroun, T. A., Heller, W. T., Weiss, T. M., and Huang, H. W., “Neutron Off-plane Scattering of Aligned Membranes I: Method of Measurement,” Biophys. J. 75: 641-645 (1998).

3. Heller, W. T., He, K., Ludtke, S. J., Harroun, T. A., and Huang, H. W., “Effect of Changing the Size of Lipid Headgroup on Peptide Insertion into Membranes,” Biophys. J. 73: 239-244 (1997).

2. Ludtke, S. J., He, K., Heller, W. T., Harroun, T. A., Yang, L., and Huang, H. W., “Membrane Pores Induced by Magainin,” Biochemistry 35: 13723-13728 (1996).

1. He, K., Ludtke, S. J., Heller, W. T., and Huang, H. W., “Mechanism of Alamethicin Insertion into Lipid Bilayers,” Biophys. J. 71: 2669-2679 (1996).

Awards, Honors and Memberships

Honors:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Significant Event Award (SANS Project) (2007)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Significant Event Award (SANS Project) (2006)
  • Rice University Physics Department Umland Award (1998)
  • NIH Houston Area Molecular Biophysics Traineeship (1995-1998)
  • Texaco Fellowship (1997)
  • Rice University Physics Department Chouke Award (1996)
  • University of Nebraska Regents Scholarship (1989-1993)

Professional Societies:

  • Member of the American Physical Society
  • Member of the Neutron Scattering Society of America