The Frontier NCPSS Series – 2015 NMR Forum and Summer School for Protein NMR and Drug Discovery Successfully Held
2015-06-05 Page View:2839
On May 30 – June 2, The Frontier NCPSS Series – 2015 NMR Forum and Summer School for Protein NMR and Drug Discovery was successfully held in the Haike Rd. campus of National Center for Protein Science·Shanghai (NCPSS). This was an inaugural conference and the overall goal of the Forum was to advocate protein NMR to the biological and biomedical communities in China. It showcased the scientific strengths and distinctive of NCPSS in the realm of structural biology, facilitated discussions about international collaborative research and enhanced the training of future generations of protein NMR researchers.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an essential tool for determining structures of small to moderate size biomacromolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, glycans, or functioning cellular and in vivo systems. Recent methodological advances that combine NMR with computational, X-ray crystallographic, SAXS, and Cryo-EM, have allowed NMR applications to membrane proteins and protein assemblies greater than 100 kD in size. NMR can also provide unique insights not obtainable otherwise, such as ones involving weak interactions, enzyme reactions or dynamic states. NMR has an impact on the pharmaceutical industry by providing unique methodology to accelerate lead generation and optimization: the discovery of weak small molecule probes, rapid generation of structure-activity relationships and for characterizing both structural and hydrodynamic profiles of biosimilar drugs.
The conference organizing committee included Prof. Ming Lei, Prof. James Chou and Prof. Chenqi Xu, NCPSS, SIBCB, SIBS, CAS, China. The committee invited 13 world's top experts who have largely contributed to their specific field of interest over years to present their exciting up-to-date researches, including Professor Adriaan Bax, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA, member of the United States National Academy of Sciences; Professor Gerhard Wagner, Harvard Medical School, USA, member of the United States National Academy of Sciences; Professor Arthur G. Palmer, Columbia University, USA; Professor Masatsune Kainosho, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan; Professor Michael Sattler, Director of Institute of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany; Professor Yunyu Shi, University of Science and Technology, China, member of Chinese Academy of Science; and Professor James Chou, Harvard Medical school, USA and Principal Investigator, National Center for Protein Science Shanghai, China. More than 100 researchers and graduate students from academia and pharmaceutical industries attended the meeting.
The meeting consisted of two parts, a three-day workshop and a one-day symposium.
The workshop started on May 30th and was chaired by Prof. James Chou, Principal Investigator of NCPSS and Professor of Harvard Medical School. Prof. Ming Lei, Director of NCPSS and Deputy Director of SIBCB gave a brief introduction of NCPSS in his welcome opening speech. The workshop consisted of lectures by experts in the field of protein NMR spectroscopy and hands-on training sessions. Topics included (1) NMR theories (2) isotope labeling strategies for larger proteins, (3) the latest NMR methodology: rapid data acquisition and processing, (4) key NMR techniques and practical solution in the process of drug discovery, (5) computational methods for characterizing protein structure and dynamics.
The June 2th symposium was presided over by Prof. Chenqi Xu, Assistance Director of NCPSS and focused on “Future of Biomolecular NMR". It covered hot spot topics including new avenues for solution NMR structure determination and dynamics, membrane proteins, the next wave of isotope labelling, protein-RNA complex, super macromolecular complexes and integration of NMR with SAXS and X-ray. The speakers shared their insight on the prospects of protein NMR, opportunities and challenges of biomolecular NMR in general.
The NCPSS operates a world class state-of-the-art NMR facility which houses a 900 MHz, an 800 MHz, a 700 MHz, and two 600 MHz spectrometers customized for structural and dynamics investigation of protein in solution. Facility Staff offer expertise in NMR techniques and scientific consulting to NMR-based structural and functional studies. The research groups of Prof. Chenqi Xu, Prof. Ouyang Bo and Prof. James Chou, users of the NMR facility, have made significant progress in T cell signaling and molecular mechanism of membrane proteins. These resulted in some of the world’s breathtaking discoveries, which were published in Nature. The theme of the symposium was in line with the vision of NCPSS. The conference achieved a high academic level which set the stage for NMR facility to take the lead in using novel NMR technologies and pursue openness and collaboration opportunities both within NCPSS and throughout the diverse research community.
Photo: The Frontier NCPSS Series – 2015 NMR Forum and Summer School for Protein NMR and Drug Discovery
Photo: Summer School for Protein NMR and Drug Discovery
Photo: Lecturers and Speakers of Workshop Sessions and Symposium
Group photo: Workshop Sessions
Group photo: Symposium