News

Summer 2019 ISMB Seminar Series begins Wednesday 24th April

The Summer 2019 ISMB seminar series, Molecular mechanisms of protein folding and misfolding in human disease, coordinated by Dr Lisa Cabrita, will begin on Wednesday 24th April with the following talk:

Tuning protein biogenesis at the level of translation (and the link to disease)
Dr. Zoya Ignatova, University of Hamburg, Germany

Time: 13.00

Venue: Room B20, Birkbeck

All are welcome to attend.

Posted by ubcg49z in News, Seminars

Research by the Hansen group featured in ChemPhysChem

Research presenting a new method for probing solution‐state interactions of arginine side‐chains in proteins by Prof Flemming Hansen and 3rd year Hansen group PhD student Harry MacKenzie was featured as the cover article for the February 2019 European Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry.

Full paper: Arginine Side‐Chain Hydrogen Exchange: Quantifying Arginine Side‐Chain Interactions in Solution

Feature profile

Cover illustration

Prof Flemming Hansen

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by ubcg49z in News, Publications, Student news

New, giant bacterial virus found in human gut

A new giant virus that infects bacteria commonly found in the human gut has been discovered by an international team led by researchers from UCL including Professor Joanne Santini, and UC Berkeley.

The new ‘megaphage’ called ‘Lak’ is the same size as some bacteria and is the biggest ever reported phage found in the human gut.

A study published in Nature Microbiology describes the discovery of Lak phage and reports that they specifically infect bacteria called Prevotella, which live in all people but most notably those who have a diet high in fibre and low in fat.

Prevotella is also associated with upper respiratory tract infections and is prevalent in periodontal disease, which means the new megaphage may open up the development of new phage-based treatments for infections caused by Prevotella.

Research paper in Nature Microbiology

UCL News commentary

Professor Joanne Santini

 

Posted by ubcg49z in News, Publications

Birkbeck Department of Biological Sciences receives Athena SWAN Silver Award

The Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck has been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), upgraded from its previously held Bronze Award. The award recognises the department’s commitment to achieving gender equality across the institution and the progress that it is making in this area. It is valid until April 2022.

The ECU presents Athena SWAN awards to recognise and reward commitment to gender equality in higher education. Its Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
In 2015, the charter was expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law, and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

The Department of Biological Sciences’ Athena SWAN Silver Award was formally presented at a ceremony at the University of Southampton on 10 December 2018.

 

Posted by ubcg49z in Achievements, News

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 (https://oni.bio/) for cellular imaging, particle tracking (for diffusion or active transport) or single-molecule FRET studies.
  • An interferometric scattering mass spectrometer (iSCAMS) (https://www.aragobio.com/), 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 (https://lumicks.com/) for detailed mechanistic studies of forces and kinetics.

For informal enquires, do not hesitate to contact Tina Daviter (t.daviter@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk) or Mark Williams (m.williams@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk). Other ISMB members with experience/interest in these areas who are happy to discuss are: Alan Lowe (a.lowe@ucl.ac.uk), Phil Robinson (p.robinson@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk) and Anthony Roberts (a.roberts@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk 

– 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