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The University of Southampton

Unravelling the Structural Energetics of Protein Cages and their Application to Nanomaterials Seminar

7 May 2014
Building 27, Room 2001 Chemistry Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Jon Watts at .

Event details

Brendan Orner presents a seminar as part of the MDT seminar series

Protein-protein interactions are essential to most biological functions resulting in their increasing interest to the medicinal communities. Furthermore, they are used in the cell as the foundation of large protein structures. Therefore, understanding the fundamentals of protein-protein interactions and how they control protein oligomer self-assembly could shed light on rudimentary biological processes. In addition, they could be the key to creating novel protein-based structures with unique functions.

Protein templates in material science can provide precisely defined reactors to control both particle shape and size, often on the nanoscale. In addition, they can enhance particle solubility and protect particles from aggregation. Because of advances in bioconjugation, molecular biology, and protein engineering techniques, they can also assist in the supra-assembly of particles in highly controlled and, possibly, symmetric ways.

This talk will encompass our work to understand the role of protein-protein interactions in the self-assembly of the ferritin protein nano-cages, the application of these proteins to the generation of inorganic nanomaterials, and our efforts to develop techniques for the high throughput engineering of protein cages.

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Speaker information

Dr Brendan Orner, King's College, London. Brendan Orner received is Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from Haverford College in Philadelphia, United States in 1995. His research project with Prof. Terry Newirth involved the synthesis of simple natural products. Then he moved to University of Pittsburgh, US where he completed a Masters of Science in Chemistry in 1998. He moved with his advisor, Prof. Andrew Hamilton (now Vice-Chancellor, Oxford University, UK) to Yale University, US from which he received in PhD in 2001. He worked on 1) synthetic methodology for the production of protected guanidines 2) the design of stapled peptides constrained in a helix conformation through non-covalent interactions 3) the design of small molecule helix mimics for the disruption of protein-protein interactions. Dr. Orner then moved to University of Wisconsin, US for a postdoc with Laura Kiessling where he worked on 1) phage display to discover molecules to modulate amyloid aggregation 2) self-assembled monolayer arrays to screen for surfaces that control the differentiation and self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells. Dr. Orner started his independent career at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2006 and moved to King's College London, UK in 2012. Currently his lab is interested in 1) self-assembling protein nano-sctructures governed by protein-protein interactions 2) the bottom up design of novel hybrid nanomaterials 3) novel and creative combinatorial screens for protein engineering, medicinal chemistry, and materials research.

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