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Diamond Light Source is uniquely placed; with a large number of scientific collaborations and integrated facilities on site, Diamond is a powerful resource for advancing research and allowing for growth. These complementary assets continue to allow us to be a leading facility enabling inter- and multi-disciplinary research.
Membrane proteins make up about a third of the human genome, in fact, we have over 7,000 membrane proteins in our bodies, of which many are important drug targets with over half of current commercially available small-molecule drugs targeting membrane proteins. Understanding the structure of these is essential for helping scientists to understand how they work, any associated disease mechanisms, and in the development of new medicines. Dr Quigley continues: “We have traditionally grown membrane protein crystals, an extremely difficult step on the way towards solving a membrane proteins structure. Having a dedicated laboratory with cutting-edge equipment close to the experimental stations where membrane protein structures can be solved, greatly enhances scientists’ ability to successfully crystallise membrane proteins and further our understanding of these important drug targets. Recently with the cryo-EM revolution, a new method has been opened up providing an alternative route towards solving the structure of these difficult to work with proteins. Undoubtedly, the close proximity of the MPL and eBIC will greatly enhance our ability to understand the structures of membrane proteins by cryo-electron microscopy.”
Funded initially by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC), the XFEL Hub at Diamond aims to provide expertise and support to the UK community engaged in XFEL-related research; from experimental conception to beamtime proposals, through sample preparations and testing, to XFEL data collection, analysis, and publication.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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