Generative AI Day for Life Sciences London, 19th October 2023

Generative AI Day for Life Sciences London, 19th October 2023

NVIDIA is hosting an event about AI in drug discovery. Discuss your next AI breakthroughs across topics like drug discovery, medical image analysis, genomics and personalized medicine, and more. The half-day event begins with check-in at 4pm and ends with an opportunity to network with experts at 8pm.

There will be demos & learning sessions about LLMs for biomolecular design. Vice President of NVIDIA Healthcare, Kimberly Powell, will moderate a panel with Laksh Aithani (CEO from Charm Therapeutics), Dr. Lindsay Edwards (CTO from Relation Therapeutics) and Nihal Sinha (Partner at F-Prime Ventures).

            Reserve your seat on

Location will be shared once your seat is confirmed.



Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events
ISMB Special Event: Prof. Enrico Bucci, 27th September 2023

ISMB Special Event: Prof. Enrico Bucci, 27th September 2023

We are pleased to announce an ISMB Special Event taking place on Wednesday, 27th September 2023. 


Title: The Industry of Science Fraud 


Guest speaker: Prof. Enrico Bucci, Temple University College of Science and Technology 

Host: Prof. Franca Fraternali 

Date: 27 September 2023 

Time: 2-3pm

Venue: JZ Young Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building



The event will kick off with an introduction by Prof. Franca Fraternali, the Director of ISMB. Prof. Enrico Bucci will deliver a talk about “The industry of science fraud”. The talk will be followed by a discussion and a Q & A session, steered by Prof. Fraternali and Prof. Kostas Thalassinos. There will be drinks and a networking session at the end of the event. 


Everyone is welcome to attend, we look forward to seeing you all at the Special Event!

Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events
ISMB LiDO Showcase, 26th September 2023

ISMB LiDO Showcase, 26th September 2023

The ISMB LiDO showcase will be held on Tuesday, 26th September 2023, from 11am to 4pm. Venue of the showcase is Room MAL G16, Birkbeck main building.

The event will start with a welcome coffee at 11am, followed by an introduction to ISMB by Prof. Franca Fraternali, Director of ISMB.

There will be multiple 10 min presentations by a diverse group of PIs through out the day, ending at 4pm.


Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events
Seminar by Dr Stephen Fried from John Hopkins University on 18th September 2023

Seminar by Dr Stephen Fried from John Hopkins University on 18th September 2023

Christine Orengo and John Christodoulou will be hosting a seminar by Dr Stephen Fried on 18th September 2023.

Speaker: Dr Stephen Fried, John Hopkins University

Date: Monday, 18th September 2023

Time: 1-2pm

Location: Birkbeck Central Building, Room BCB307

Title: How to Fold Every Protein – Proteome-Wide Measurements of Folding Call for a Post-Anfinsen Paradigm


Though protein folding has been at the heart of biophysical research for several decades, our knowledge of the topic is deep but narrow – we “know” a lot about a sparse set of “model” proteins that conform to Anfinsen’s thermodynamic hypothesis.  Leveraging the power of structural proteomics, work in our lab has endeavored to interrogate protein folding and refolding globally, sensitively, and (for some applications) in vivo.  We found that many E. coli proteins cannot efficiently return to their native structures following complete denaturation, and nonrefoldable proteins over-represent a particular set of biophysical and topological features that have been traditionally excluded from folding research.  Proteins from yeast are strikingly more refoldable than E. coli proteins despite their greater size and complexity, a difference that we find can be attributed to the higher levels of intrinsic disorder in yeast proteins and their requirement for facile retrieval from biomolecular condensates.  Nonrefoldability is connected to and explains a broad range of phenomena, such as the requirement of certain proteins to fold cotranslationally and kinetic stability, and may explain – in part – the molecular basis of cognitive decline associated with aging.

About the speaker:

Stephen Fried is a native of Kansas City.  He received two S.B. degrees (2009) from MIT in chemistry and physics and completed his doctoral training at Stanford under the mentorship of Prof. S. G. Boxer in 2014. As a graduate student, Stephen’s research focused on understanding the physical principles underpinning enzymes’ catalytic power. From 2014 to 2018, Stephen was a Junior Research Fellow of King’s College and conducted research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, United Kingdom. In Cambridge, his research focus shifted to chemical and synthetic biology. Stephen joined the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in 2018 as an Assistant Professor, where he also holds appointments in the Departments of Biophysics and Biology.  His lab develops and applies tools in structural proteomics to study protein folding globally, sensitively, and with high structural resolution. Stephen has been the recipient of the HFSP Young Investigator Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and a Cottrell Scholarship.  In 2023, he was named a Future of Biophysics speaker by the Biophysical Society.

Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events, News
Special Seminar by Thomas Löhr, Molecular AI group at AstraZeneca, on Monday 19th June

Special Seminar by Thomas Löhr, Molecular AI group at AstraZeneca, on Monday 19th June

Everyone is invited to a special ISMB seminar given by Dr Thomas Löhr from the Molecular AI group at AstraZeneca. This seminar is hosted by Gabriella Heller.

Speaker: Dr Thomas Löhr

Title: Computational tools to study disordered proteins, small molecules, and their interactions

Date & Time:   19th June, 3-4pm

Location: Anatomy Building, Room 249

Abstract: Disordered proteins and regions are highly prevalent in the human proteome, and are often implicated in disease. However, methods to study these systems in detail are lacking, and the potential for thermodynamic and kinetic characterisation using experimental methods is limited. Molecular simulations and associated analysis methods have advanced to the point where investigating disordered proteins and their interactions with other (bio-) molecules on an atomistic scale is now possible. I will first talk about the use of integrative structural methods to study systems ranging from small disordered peptides to large amyloid fibril fragments using data from nuclear magnetic resonance and cryo-EM. By combining a Bayesian approach (Metainference) with enhanced sampling techniques (Metadynamics) we are able to efficiently acquire a conformational ensemble of systems that would otherwise remain elusive. Next, I will present work to determine the kinetics of Amyloid-β 42, an aggregation-prone biomolecule implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, and its interactions with small molecules. By dynamically binding to the disordered monomeric state of the protein, a drug-like molecule can slow downstream aggregation processes, demonstrating the feasibility of directly drugging dynamic biomolecules. This was accomplished using ultra-long timescale molecular dynamics simulations combined with a deep-learning based Markov model approach. Finally, I will explain ongoing efforts to integrate molecular dynamics and similar approaches into automated drug discovery pipelines to improve our coverage of chemical space and make the design-make-test-analyze cycle more efficient by guiding small molecule generative models.

Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Seminars
Postgraduate Research Symposium, 15-16th June 2023

Postgraduate Research Symposium, 15-16th June 2023

This year’s ISMB Postgraduate Research Symposium was held at the Birkbeck Clore Management Centre, on 15th and 16th June. The symposium provides an opportunity to find out about the research studies of PhD students within the ISMB. The second day of the symposium featured a talk by keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Blackman from The Francis Crick Institute. The title of Dr. Blackman’s talk is ‘Malaria parasite egress from the host red blood cell: a tale of PKG, proteases and puzzles’. 

Thank you to all the students who participated in this year’s symposium and congratulations to the winners:

Best Poster – Yvette Levray-Szabados, “The unconventional trafficking mechanisms of exported transmembrane-like proteins in Plasmodium”

Best 1st Year Talk – Rita Ramalhete, “The Type VI Secretion System effector toxicity towards Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Best 3rd Year Talk – Sarah Vickers, “Investigating the Misfolding Pathways of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin using Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry”

Photos to follow.

ISMB Postgraduate Research Symposium 2023 – Programme and abstracts booklet

Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events
10th ISMB Retreat 2023

10th ISMB Retreat 2023

The biennial ISMB Retreat is returning this year on 4th – 5th July, at Clare College Cambridge. This year’s retreat will feature keynote speakers such as Sir Tom Blundell (University of Cambridge), Professor Charlotte Deane (University of Oxford Department of Statistics), Professor Sonia Gandhi (The Francis Crick Institute Neurodegeneration Biology Laboratory), Dr Jan Lowe (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology), Dr Stacey Southall (Sosei Heptares), Professor Finn Werner (ISMB) and Luigi Martino (Wellcome Trust).

ISMB Retreat Programme 2023

Posted by Cyndy Thooi in Events
British Crystallographic Association Meeting 2021

British Crystallographic Association Meeting 2021

Two ISMB members – Dr Amandine Marechal and Dr Altin Sula – were invited to present talks at this year’s British Crystallographic Association (virtual) Meeting on 1 April (no foolin’).

Amandine Marechal gave the Keynote Lecture, ‘Respiratory supercomplexes: what can we learn from yeast?’, in the Biological Structures group Membrane Proteins Session (chaired by Professor Bonnie Wallace), and Altin Sula gave an invited talk on ‘Sodium Channel/Drug Interactions’.

Posted by ubcg03u in Events, News
ISMB Future Perspectives Day 2019

ISMB Future Perspectives Day 2019

On June 18th the ISMB held its inaugural Future Perspectives Day for
PhD students and PDRAs. The opening session (chaired by Snezana
Djordjevic) addressed the important issue of Open Access and the
changing landscape of research publications, and featured three
speakers with different perspectives on the subject: Nonia Pariente,
Chief Editor of Nature Microbiology; Catherine Sharp, Head of Open
Access Services, UCL Library Services; and Dalmeet Singh Chawla a
Freelance Science Journalist. The lunchtime session (chaired by Renos
Savva) on post-PhD skills in the jobs marketplace drew on expertise
from the business sector – Juliane Haupt from the Finian Group, Heidi
Kingdon Jones from IRBM and Mark Fisher from UCL Business. The
afternoon session (chaired by Adrian Shepherd) focused on the role of
AI and robotics in 21st century bioscience. Ted Meeds from Healthcare
Machine Learning at Microsoft gave a talk on the role of deep learning
in synthetic biology, Fane Mensah showed how Synthace is developing
software to facilitate the rapid design of high-throughput laboratory
experiments, and Romain Laine from the MRC Laboratory for Molecular
Cell Biology at UCL explained the ways in which machine learning is
transforming image processing in the context of advanced microscopy.

Dr Adrian Shepherd

Posted by ubtowe001 in Events, News
ISMB staff retreat 2019 at London Zoo

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 ubtowe001 in Events, News, Uncategorised