Month: November 2018

Single-Molecule Studies at the ISMB Biophysics Centre

Single-molecule studies can reveal key molecular behaviours that are difficult or impossible to discern at the ensemble level. At the ISMB Biophysics Centre, we are planning trials of new, user-friendly instruments that enable the measurement of protein localisation, conformation, mass and force at the single-molecule level.

If your research would benefit from any of these technologies, please contact us. As well as yielding preliminary data for your research, your samples could help to win funding to bring these instruments to the Biophysics Centre on a permanent basis.

The three instruments that will be trialled are:

  • A Nanoimager: a user-friendly super-resolution microscope ( for cellular imaging, particle tracking (for diffusion or active transport) or single-molecule FRET studies.
  • An interferometric scattering mass spectrometer (iSCAMS) (, that uses light scattering to determine the macromolecular weight of single particles. This is a powerful way of determining the oligomeric state or composition of protein complexes for structural biology projects, with very limited sample requirements (only tens of nM and microliters required).
  • A combined optical tweezer and single-molecule imaging setup ( for detailed mechanistic studies of forces and kinetics.

For informal enquires, do not hesitate to contact Tina Daviter ( or Mark Williams ( Other ISMB members with experience/interest in these areas who are happy to discuss are: Alan Lowe (, Phil Robinson ( and Anthony Roberts ( 

– Dr Tina Daviter

Posted by ubcg49z in Lab news, News

ISMB’s Dr Alan Cheung and Dr Anthony Roberts selected as EMBO Young Investigators

ISMB members Dr Alan Cheung and Dr Anthony Roberts have received the prestigious EMBO Young Investigator Award in recognition of the outstanding quality of their current work and their proposals for future research.
The EMBO Young Investigator Programme identifies recent group leaders with a proven record of scientific excellence.
In the most recent round of applications the programme received 195 eligible applications out of which 26 young researchers were selected to join an active network of 102 current Young Investigators.
Posted by ubcg49z in Achievements, News

Dr Alan Cheung renews Henry Dale fellowship

ISMB member Dr. Alan Cheung has successfully renewed his Sir Henry Dale Fellowship for three years until March 2022.  The Sir Henry Dale Fellowship scheme is a partnership between Wellcome and the Royal Society aimed at recognising and supporting the work of outstanding scientists pursuing independent research in biomedicine in the UK.  The project will investigate the molecular mechanisms of chromatin modifications and their effects on regulating gene expression.

Posted by ubcg49z in News

New EPSRC Impact funding for CCP-SAS

The CCP-SAS project performs molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo atomistic analyses of X-ray and neutron scattering data from Diamond, ISIS, ESRF, ILL and other facilities. This has been running since 2013 and currently has about 600 users from which there are over 50 publications.

The EPSRC grant to Prof Steve Perkins that initiated this project has been extended through the award of a new EPSRC Impact award. This will see the installation of the SASSIE workflow on HPC platforms at UCL, thus making this more widely available at UCL.

A new paper by Osborne et al (2018) illustrates the power of this new approach to clarify the molecular mechanism of complement Factor H.

Osborne AJ, Nan R, Miller A, Bhatt JS, Gor J & Perkins SJ (2018) Two distinct conformations of factor H regulate discrete complement-binding functions in the fluid phase and at cell surfaces. J. Biol. Chem. 293, 17166-17187. Pubmed 30217822

Posted by ubcg49z in Grants awarded, News

Prof Andrew Martin and colleagues’ abYsis software highlighted in BBSRC Impact case

The BBSRC publishes  ‘Our Impact’ case studies to highlight how the research it funds has an impact on science, the economy and social issues. Prof Andrew Martin’s abYsis software was chosen as a BBSRC Impact case for 11 September 2018.

Posted by ubcg49z in News

Dr Tine Arnvig awarded MRC Grant

November 2018

The ISMB’s Dr Tine Arnvig has been awarded an MRC grant to investigate ‘Conditional termination of transcription in Mycobacterium tuberculosis’. The aim of the project is to 1. define transcriptional terminator motifs on a global scale in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 2. to investigate post-transcriptional control of gene expression associated with inherent drug-resistance genes and anti-TB drugs.
Above: Left panel illustrates the principle of regulated or conditional termination, leading to expression of genes under specific growth conditions only. Right panel shows cording M. tuberculosis (photo credit Robin Chamberland).


Moreover, Tine will be hosting a research fellow, Terry Kipkorir, for two years from March 2019.  Terry has been awarded a Newton International Fellowship with Tine as co-applicant, and he will be working at the SMB on post-transcriptional regulation of methionine metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Posted by ubcg49z in Uncategorised

Film: ‘The Virtual Human’

October 2018

A collaboration between the ISMB's Prof Peter Coveney and Prof Andrea Townsend-Nicholson with Prof Blanca Rodriguez at University of Oxford, Prof Marco Viceconti at University of Sheffield and Prof Alfons Hoekstra at University of Amsterdam, 'The Virtual Human' is a film describing the recreation of a human being in silico, including IMAX video composited on the Marenostrum supercomputer. It was produced by Barcelona Supercomputing Centre and CompBioMed H2020 Centre of Excellence in Computational Biomedicine, led by UCL.

The film has been screened at the IMAX cinema as part Science Museum lates and at the 2018 Cheltenham Science Festival.


Barcelona Supercomputing Centre

Posted by ubcg49z in Achievements, News