Chemistry Anniversary Lecture
Imagine a new phase for studying the structure of protein molecules, without the encumbrance of the surrounding solution or the crystal lattice and free to fly in the gas phase. To do this protein assemblies would have to survive the change of state, from solution to gas phase. Theoreticians had predicted that proteins would turn inside out during this phase transition such that results would be meaningless. Behind the scenes we were adapting mass spectrometers to explore this phenomenon and to demonstrate the survival of protein assemblies in the gas phase.
Some 20 years later mass spectrometry is capable of maintaining proteins and their assemblies intact and retaining their overall topology. Today, this gas phase structural biology approach is providing a new view of dynamic interactions between proteins, lipid and drugs – important criteria for understanding human health and for enhancing the prospects of drug discovery.
An exhibition viewing will be held in the National Science Learning Centre in advance of the lecture, along with refreshments.