A workshop, co-organised by the Industrial Liaison team and the Membrane Protein Laboratory (MPL), Imperial College, took place at Diamond this week.
Day 1 brought over 40 industrial scientists to Diamond to listen to a range of talks by expert speakers in a meeting that was subsidised by a EU FP7 grant, Calipso, to help raise awareness of the applications of synchrotron science to industrial problems.
The meeting was opened with a talk by Prof. Jim Naismith from the University of St Andrews discussing his latest work on sensing by membrane proteins. Prof. Ray Owens from OPPF (Oxford Protein Production Facility, part of the Division of Structural Biology at the University of Oxford) highlighted opportunities for expression and purification of membrane proteins using the high throughput instrumentation available at the OPPF facilities.
Dr. Wei Liu, Arizona State University, presented results of femtosecond crystallography of membrane proteins in the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) followed by talk showing electron microscopy reconstruction of membrane proteins and docking these EM images with crystallographic structures by Prof. Gabriel Waksman of UCL / Birkbeck College, London. Prof. Jan Steyaert of Vrije Universiteit Brussel explained how nanobodies can be used to stabilise membrane protein complexes for crystallography.
Dr Andy Doré from Heptares Therapeutics Ltd gave the audience a new look (see right) - 3D glasses for visualising the structure of class C GPCRs.
Dr Gwyndaf Evans from Diamond showed the latest developments in microfocused X-rays for membrane protein crystallography and Dr Rohanah Hussain, also Diamond, showcased complementary techniques such as circular dichroism for the study of biotherapeutics.
Dr James Foadi from the MPL revealed how to apply the BLEND software to the elucidation of membrane protein structures and finally, Dr Isabel De Moraes, Head of the MPL, explored challenges and opportunities in membrane protein research.
An exhibition was organised during the coffee and lunch breaks with exhibitors including Rigaku, Hamilton Robotics, Formulatrix, Molecular Dimensions and TTPLabtech.
On Day 2, 17 people took part in a series of hands-on workshops. Topics included practical experience of the latest techniques for protein production and crystallisation and also workshops on data collection strategies and tips and tricks for data analysis using the BLEND software.
The feedback so far has been extremely positive and many people have asked about plans for a follow up so watch this space!
In a first for the Industrial Liaison team, in addition to organising the workshop, we took our first steps into the world of live tweeting - search for #MembraneProtein on Twitter (@DiamondILO) to see what happened...
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