Structural Biology of pathogen:host interactions

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

The primary aim of the research group is to investigate the mechanisms of pathogen:host interaction during infection/colonization at the molecular level. We use a range of structural biology techniques to understand the function of specific proteins and how they interact with their environment. Some current priorities include establishing structure/function relationships in ‘effector’ proteins from pathogens important for human/mammalian health and agriculture (e.g. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), Phytophora infestans (the Irish potato famine pathogen)), and mechanisms of pili biogenesis in Group A Streptococcus. Our primary experimental tool is structure determination by X-ray crystallography, but we also complement this with solution-based methods (circular dichroism, isothermal titration calorimetry, surface plasmon resonance, analytical ultracentrifugation, small angle X-ray scattering, spectroscopy) as appropriate. Structural data is frequently used to establish hypotheses which can then be tested, for instance, by site-directed mutagenesis and further study. We collaborate extensively with groups in Norwich, the UK and worldwide to ensure the in vivo relevance of our in vitro data.

We also have an interest in developing/employing new technologies to advance throughput in protein production and structure determination to both streamline our current research projects and enhance the feasibility of establishing new projects in the Laboratory.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Not Applicable at this time.
Exploitation Route Not Applicable at this time.
 
Description Plant Doctors day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Orgainsed/ran a "Plant Doctors" Day for ~55 Year 6 students at a local school with the Outreach team from the British Society for Plant Pathology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bspp.org.uk/outreach/article.php?id=126
 
Description SAW (Science, Art and Writing) day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact SAW (Science, Art and Writing) day at Chapel Break Infant School in Oct 2009
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Teacher-Science-Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Teacher Scientist Network (TSN), linked with local schools in Hethersett (co-ran Science afternoon for Year 6 pupils, June 2012)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012