Students will learn about advanced topics in Structural Biology through lectures and dissection of the primary literature. Topics included will be the structure and function of proteins and protein complexes, particularly large assemblies and membrane proteins. Methods covered in detail will include X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM methods, including single particle analysis and tomography. Quantitative and interdisciplinary perspectives on the topics will be highlighted. Students will further develop their independent thinking, knowledge of the techniques utilized in these areas, and ability to critically assess the literature.

Target group: Students planning to use some structural biology methods or generally interested in structural biology.

Prerequisites: Non-biologists should read all basic chapters from textbooks below. Biologists should update themselves on the following chapters (books available in IST library): - Biochemistry (Voet, 4th ed.): Ch. 8: Three-dimensional structure of proteins Ch. 9: Protein folding, dynamics and structure evolution. - Molecular biology of the cell (Alberts, 5th ed.): Ch. 3: Proteins Ch. 8: Manipulating proteins, DNA and RNA. Section: Analyzing proteins.

Evaluation: Grades:
25% final essay; 25% presentation in class; 30% participation in class; 20% participation in recitations 

Final essay: Select a paper in structural biology and write an essay about it in the style of “News and Views” article in Nature, i.e. describe for non-specialists the significance of the paper. The essay should summarize the main findings of the paper, explain it to a broader audience and discuss its relevance for the field. It should include a Title, Abstract, 1500 - 2000 words, one figure and references.

Teaching format: 12 weeks total with 2 meetings (with Instructors) and 1 recitation (with TAs) per week.
Meetings 1 to 12. Twelve lectures by LS, CB and FS on the structure and function of proteins and methods used for structure solution. Meetings 13 to 16. Presentation and discussion of four seminal papers in structural biology, in groups of students. Meetings 17 to 24 will be replaced by two full days of practicals: protein structure solution starting from electron density (LS lab) and cryo-EM sample preparation (FS and CB labs).

ECTS: 6 Year: 2019

Track segment(s):
BIO-MOL Biology - Molecular and Structural Biology

Carrie Bernecky Leonid Sazanov Florian Schur

Teaching assistant(s):

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