Thomas C. Irving

Department of Biological Sciences

Illinois Institute of Technology

Thomas C. Irving

Thomas Irving is Professor of Biology and Physics in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada.

He began his career studying muscle structure and function using small-angle X-ray diffraction of muscle as an undergraduate, continuing in his graduate studies. After a brief detour into cell biology at the University of Texas at Austin, he returned to X-ray diffraction as a staff scientist at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), Ithaca NY. Here he received training in using synchrotron radiation for biophysical studies and worked with well-known muscle researchers including the late Hugh Huxley (Brandeis) and Michael Reedy (Duke University) on muscle diffraction studies.

In 1994 he moved to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago to help launch the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) project. BioCAT is organized as a NIH–supported Biotechnology Research Resource dedicated to structural studies of non-crystalline biological materials using Small and Wide-angle Fiber Diffraction and Macromolecular Small-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) with emphasis on time and spatially resolved applications. The heart of the facility is Beamline 18ID, located on Sector 18 at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL. Professor Irving has been the Director of BioCAT and Principal Investigator of the P41 grant that funds it since 2001. He works with a number of investigator groups around the country and internationally to study the structure and function of muscle sarcomeric proteins especially in relation to muscle regulation.