Wednesday 14 January 2015, 1.00PM
Speaker(s): Professor Sheena Radford, University of Leeds
Proteins are amazing three-dimensional machines that carry out life’s essential processes. Modern methods in structural biology are enabling us to see these structures at work in ever-increasing molecular detail. Yet the most fundamental process of all, how proteins fold and assemble into these complex machines, remains a mystery. Understanding the rules of protein folding would not only enable new protein structures with new functions to be made, but would also enable us to understand how, and why, errors of protein folding give rise to disease, and why these errors become more common as we age. Given the enormous burden of diseases associated with protein misfolding, typified by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and type II diabetes, cracking the folding code has never been more important. Fortunately, progress is being made at a rapid pace, kindling hopes that therapies to combat protein folding diseases will soon be within our grasp.