EVENT - Seminar

A New Phase for Structural Biology

QBI presents a seminar with Carol Robinson, the Dr Lee’s Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and Founder Director of Oxford’s Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery.

Dr. Robinson is recognized for establishing mass spectrometry as a viable technology to study the structure and function of proteins. She graduated from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1979, completing her PhD at Cambridge University. She became Professor of Mass Spectrometry at Cambridge, returning to Oxford in 2009 to take up her current position. In 2016, she co-founded OMass Therapeutics. Amongst her numerous accolades, she was awarded a DBE in 2013 for services to science and industry.

Talk Title: A New Phase for Structural Biology

While cryo-EM has transformed our view of the structures of protein assemblies, behind the scenes gas phase structural biology has been emerging. Over a number of decades mass spectrometrists have revealed that the folding and topology of protein complexes can be retained in the gas phase, if appropriate experimental parameters are applied. These discoveries led to early compelling studies of antibody-antigen complexes, viruses, ribosomes and molecular chaperones. More recently ‘snapshots’ of membrane protein complexes in the gas phase have been particularly enlightening. Widely considered the most challenging of protein complexes, but yet the most important given their physiological roles, the gas phase turns out to be an excellent medium in which to interrogate hydrophobic membrane proteins. When encased in detergent micelles, or other membrane mimetics, the effects of lipids on stability, conformational change, dynamics and protein interactions are revealed. As such, mass spectrometry is informing membrane embedded efflux pumps (often implicated in antibiotic resistance mechanisms) assembly of membrane protein interfaces (primarily in solute carriers) and receptor mediated signalling pathways (typically of GPCRs). In her talk, Dr. Robinson will trace the history of these developments using selected highlights to illustrate progress made to date. She will describe exciting future developments - soon to be realized…

Host: Aashish Manglik

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