‘This was the 5th meeting in a series that has focused on the technologies, materials and reagents used for membrane protein production and structure determination. I had the pleasure of first attending these meetings at the last one held in San Francisco. This year’s meeting was held at Argonne National Laboratory and proved to be just as lively as before but with the additional sirens warning us to be aware of our nearest Tornado Shelter! Beginning with a series of workshop options to which I attended sessions on Lipidic Cubic Phase and serial crystallography and a round table discussion on membrane protein expression and purification.
The conference program covered a wide range of topics relating to membrane protein research with sessions on transporters and channels, receptors, complexes, enzymes and pumps as well as technological advancements associated with expression and purification, NMR, crystallisation, electron microscopy and innovative methods.
I presented a poster detailing some of my recent work at the SGC working on solute carriers as well as highlighting some of the methods that we have used to solve five human integral membrane protein structures over the last five years. I was fortunate to be selected to give a ‘lightning talk’ after dinner. Held in an informal atmosphere the series of two minute talks provided an entertaining, light hearted end to the day’s activities.
I met with many enthusiastic scientists while at the conference and hopefully this will lead to future collaborations in areas where our interests overlap. Additionally I was able to meet with some of my current collaborators who are based in the US which has led to some new exciting ideas and plans for the future.
The meeting was closed at midday on Sunday giving me six hours for a whistle stop tour of Chicago itself. I was lucky enough to meet with scientists who were based in the area and they did a great job of showing myself and others from the UK around.’
Andrew Quigley, PostDoc from the SGC at the University of Oxford