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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

Arrival of the new Multiwavelength Beckman Optima analytical ultracentrifuge at the UCL Molecular Interactions Facility

We are very grateful to the UCL Capital Equipment Fund for the purchase of the new Beckman AUC Optima for the UCL Molecular Interactions Facility that arrived on 25th March 2019. This was installed after Easter and is starting to become operational. This is the first machine of its type to be installed permanently at an UK university. The pictures show (1) the arrival of the instrument on wheels, (2) what we found when the boxes were opened, and (3) the big smiles of our user community. The major development with this new AUC machine is the capability to measure macromolecular sedimentation across a full absorbance wavelength range, and not with a single wavelength as with the old Beckman AUC Proteome. Other advantages are the capacity to measure samples that are more dilute than with the old AUC. The instrument is highly complementary in scope to macromolecular data collected by NMR, crystallography, mass spectrometry, calorimetry and X-ray and neutron scattering. This should make a big difference to biophysical studies where measuring monodispersity or dissociation constants Kd values are important. For example, the binding of ligands with different chromophores can be monitored simultaneously but independently of the protein that they bind to. In the study of heterogeneous interactions, protein complexes in which one is labelled and the other is not can be monitored in detail, or likewise proteins with haem groups that absorb strongly in the visible region. We have already completed with Dr Lindsay McDermott (pictured) an interesting first project where different fatty acids with two distinct fluorescently-tagged chromophores bind to a lipid binding protein called zinc alpha2 glycoprotein. An account of how this method can be used to follow DNA or RNA binding to a protein at three wavelengths for DNA/RNA, protein and their complex is reported in a short review by Borries Demeler on the new multiwavelength AUC published in the current issue of the Biochemist, published by our Biochemical Society: http://www.portlandpresspublishing.com/sites/default/files/biochemist/Biochemist%20Biophysics/BioAPR19_All%28Demeler%29.pdf?dm_i=4WUK,532Y,250YBQ,HPBK,1

Do please email Prof Steve Perkins (s.perkins@ucl.ac.uk) or Mr Jayesh Gor (J.gor@ucl.ac.uk) if you are interested in discussing possibilities, or even applying this new instrument for your research.

          

Posted by ublmcr01 in Lab news, News, Uncategorised

Dr Salvador Tomas awarded Leverhulme Research Project Grant

Dr Salvador Tomas has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Project Grant to study and develop lipid vesicle-based, stimuli-responsive nanoreactors

Lipid vesicles resemble empty cells, a starting point where to build up programmable cell-like robots by the step-wise addition of molecular machinery. Developing such robots requires that we understand how chemical transformations are influenced by confinement within the boundaries of lipid vesicles. Dr Tomas research group has recently reported evidence that confinement promotes the very chemical reactions that enable the assembly of complex molecular machinery, essential to the function of natural and artificial cells. The aim of the project is to characterise rigorously this confinement effect and to exploit it to build cell-like devices programmed to perform chemical reactions in response to specific external stimuli.

More information about Dr Tomas’s research can be found on his ISMB profile.

Posted by ublmcr01 in Grants awarded, News, Uncategorised

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