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The Sir Ernst Chain Lecture 2019

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Lecture theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Imperial College London

London

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

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The electron cryomicroscopy revolution in structural biology

Dr Richard Henderson, CH, FRS, 2017 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

The lecture is free to attend and open to all, but registration is required in advance

An drinks reception with follow the lecture on level 1 of the Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Abstract

In the last few years, single particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) has experienced a quantum leap in its capability, due to improved electron microscopes, better detectors and better software, and this is revolutionising structural biology. Using the technique invented by Jacques Dubochet and his colleagues, a thin film containing a suspension of the macromolecules of interest is plunge-frozen into liquid ethane at liquid nitrogen temperature, creating a frozen sample in which individual images of the structures can be seen in many different orientations. Subsequent computer-based image analysis is then used to determine the three-dimensional structure, frequently at near-atomic resolution. Dr Richard Henderson, CH, FRS, will describe some recent results and discuss remaining barriers to progress. CryoEM is already a very powerful method, but there are still many improvements that can be made before the approach reaches its theoretical limits.

Biography

Dr Richard Henderson is a structural biologist, with a background in physics. His research trajectory began with protein crystallography using X-ray diffraction, then electron crystallography especially on bacteriorhodopsin, and most recently single particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM). CryoEM has now reached the stage where it is possible to obtain atomic structures of a wide variety of macromolecular complexes routinely without crystals. He is now focused on understanding the remaining problems in cryoEM that need to be solved to make the method reach its theoretical potential.

About the Sir Ernst Chain Lecture

The Sir Ernst Chain Lecture is an annual lecture organised by the Department of Life Sciences. It is named after the Nobel Laureate Sir Ernst Chain, who was Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial. He was a joint-winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1945, alongside Professor Sir Alexander Fleming, who was at St Mary's Hospital, and Sir Howard Florey for the discovery of Penicillin.

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Date and Time

Location

Lecture theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building

Imperial College London

London

SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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