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Dr Anthony Roberts’s group determine the cryo-EM structure of the molecular motor dynein-2

Work from Dr Anthony Roberts’s laboratory in the ISMB, in collaboration with Dr Andrew Carter’s group at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge, has determined the cryo-EM structure of the motor protein dynein-2, which transports cargoes and signalling molecules within cilia and flagella. Dynein-2 is fundamental to human development and its dysfunction is associated with short-rib thoracic dysplasias with or without polydactyly; inherited disorders characterised by abnormal rib cage development with severe, often life-threatening, consequences.
The research – which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, BBSRC and MRC – is published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41594-019-0286-y
The Roberts group was recently awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship to further their studies on the mechanism of transport within cilia and flagella.
Posted by ublmcr01 in Uncategorised

Two new grants awarded to Dr Giulia Zanetti’s research group

Dr Giulia Zanetti’s research group has been awarded two new grants.

A European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant was awarded for a project which shows how coat assembly can deliver the flexibility necessary to accommodate a wide variety of cargo proteins, and how the process can be regulated. Her focus is on COPII coat, which mediates export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of about a third of newly synthesized proteins. The aim of the project is to understand the molecular interactions between coat components and understand their role in determination of coat architecture and membrane shape.

Full details are available here.

A Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant was awarded for another project whose overall objective is to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in COPII coat budding, and in particular to assess the dynamic regulation of the various levels of coat assembly and its role in flexible membrane remodelling.

Further details of Dr Zanetti’s research can be found on her lab website.

Posted by ublmcr01 in Uncategorised

Research symposium to be held in honour of Willie Taylor on 20th September

Patterns in Protein Sequence and Structure (Reloaded)

This research symposium will be held at Birkbeck in honour of Willie Talyor on 20th September 2019, celebrating 40 years of his pioneering research in computational biology.

This symposium will bring together past and current collaborators and scientists inspired by Willie Taylor’s research. For those wondering about the title, this symposium also marks 30 years since the landmark conference of the same name was held at EMBL in Heidelberg, which in many respects marked the start of the modern bioinformatics era. Willie was one of the organisers of that meeting, and a number of the speakers from that conference will also be speaking in this symposium.

Full details and tickets are available here.

Posted by ublmcr01 in Uncategorised

ISMB staff retreat 2019 at London Zoo

On a sunny day in June, just before the summer solstice, staff from the ISMB at UCL and Birkbeck had their (now) annual retreat this year at the London Zoo. In our busy lives as academics, these away-days provide us with the rare opportunity to catch up with our colleagues from across Torrington Place in a relaxed atmosphere and to make new friends!

We met at the Terrace Restaurant in the ‘Outback’, where we kick-started the day with tea and coffee, surrounded by emus and wallabies. Tabitha had expertly prepared maps that indicated our exploratory trail through the Zoo, incorporating show-and-tell and feeding times for maximum knowledge gathering and entertainment. Watching dragons, flightless birds, pigs and monkeys with moustaches and coatis – which is not pronounced like the garment (I learned that day), but rather co-ah-ti, gave people plenty to discuss over a very nice BBQ-style lunch back at the restaurant.  We then had time to continue our short trip round the zoo to catch up with some more amazing animals before listening to the two science presentations by Drs Alexa Varah and Nathalie Petorelli from the Institute of Zoology about ‘The costs of herbicide resistance in UK agriculture’ and ‘Satellite remote sensing – a conservation revolution’. Despite the fact that our research at the ISMB is somewhat remote from these topics, there was great interest from the audience and lively discussions ensued. It was a brilliant day out, and I’m looking much forward to the retreat in 2020.

Tine Arnvig, UCL-ISMB


Flightless birds


Monkey with moustache


Men in blue


See-through butterfly

Posted by ublmcr01 in Events, News, Uncategorised

Professor Bart Hoogenboom’s group publish paper in ACS Nano

Professor Bart Hoogenboom’s research group published a paper titled ‘Quantification of Biomolecular Dynamics inside Real and Synthetic Nuclear Pore Complexes using Time-Resolved Atomic Force Microscopy’ in ACS Nano in June 2019.

The full paper is available here.

Posted by ublmcr01 in News, Publications, Uncategorised

Studying protein conformation using a new cyclic ion mobility mass spectrometry (cIMMS) device

Dr Konstantinos Thalassinos

We are the first group to publish a paper on how a new cyclic ion-mobility mass-spectrometry (cIMMS) device, manufactured by Waters, can be used to probe protein structure and dynamics. In particular, the tandem ion mobility capabilities of the instrument allow us to probe in very fine detail protein unfolding pathways and for the first time to do so for co-existing and interconverting conformers. We are now using this technology to study proteins involved in protein misfolding diseases such as human amyloid islet polypeptide.

The paper is:
Eldrid, C.; Ujma, J.; Kalfas, S.; Tomczyk, N.; Giles, K.; Morris, M.; Thalassinos, K. Gas Phase Stability of Protein Ions in a Cyclic Ion Mobility Spectrometry Traveling Wave Device. Anal. Chem. 2019, 91 (12), 7554–7561 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.8b05641

A video where I and other people in the field describe the cIMMS technology:
https://vimeo.com/318178536/005117727e

The link to the Waters site:
https://www.waters.com/waters/en_US/SELECT-SERIES-Cyclic-IMS-ion-mobility-mass-spectrometer/nav.htm?cid=135021297&locale=en_PT

 

Posted by ublmcr01 in Lab news, News, Publications, Uncategorised

Gorjan Stojanovski and Hugo Villanueva win prizes at ISMB Graduate Symposium

Congratulations to Gorjan Stojanovski and Hugo Villanueva, who were awarded prizes for their research presentations at this year’s ISMB Graduate Symposium. The Symposium was held in the Clore Management Centre at Birkbeck on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th April.

 

Gorjan, from Professor John Ward’s group, presented on ‘Applying bacterial competition to evolve novel antibiotics.’

 

Hugo, from Professor Elena Orlova’s group, presented on ‘Refactoring phages as repurposed nanomachines.’

Posted by ublmcr01 in Achievements, News, Student news, Uncategorised