FEBS Advanced Course: Ligand-binding Theory and Practice
July 3 – July 10, 2016
Application deadline: April 1, 2016
Click on online application
Registration fee 405 EUR
(Includes meals and accommodation, course materials, lab consumables, and social program)
Location of the course:
Academy and University Center Nove Hrady, Czech Republic
This course provides training in the theoretical and practical principles of ligand binding. It offers participants the possibility to analyse their own macromolecular interaction systems using contemporary advanced methods including surface plasmon resonance, isothermal titration calorimetry, UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopies, and microscale thermophoresis. The design, execution, and interpretation of these experiments will be guided by expert tutors. Additional lecturers will discuss other contemporary methods used in experimental studies of ligand binding, and current views on the phenomenon of allostery.
This course will provide basic training in the principles of ligand-binding theory, and will offer students a chance to analyse their own macromolecular interaction systems using the contemporary advanced methods of surface plasmon resonance SPR, isothermal titration calorimetry ITC, UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopies, and microscale thermophoresis, guided by lecturers and tutors who are experts in the design, execution, and analysis of these experiments. Students will also gain exposure to contemporary experimental ligand-binding methods that are not represented among the practicals, including NMR, mass spectrometry, analytical ultracentrifugation AUC, vibrational spectroscopies, and others, through presentations by lecturers who are expert in each method. Besides ligand binding per se, a second unifying theme of the lectures will be allostery, also known as cooperativity. Nobelist Jacques Monod is said to have regarded allostery as life’s second secret, and study of allosteric mechanisms is widely regarded as the most important contemporary application of ligand-binding studies. Among the lecturers on allostery will be experts who will debate our current understanding of hemoglobin, the most well-known biological manifestation of cooperative ligand binding.
The course is aimed for practitioners of ligand binding at the graduate or early postdoctoral level, although our experience indicates that even more advanced practitioners will also increase their competency, enabling them to disseminate an accurate understanding of this critical topic. Basic training in the fundaments of ligand-binding theory will open the course, to enable all students to acquire the principles that can support their experiments and leverage the subsequent lecture program of expert speakers. This training will also equip students with the skills to critically evaluate published binding data in any molecular system. The first half-day will include lectures, group discussion, and problem-solving exercises in a first seminar directed by Prof. Jannette Carey, and computational analysis, simulation, and data analysis in a workshop directed by Prof. Wei-Feng Xue. The course will conclude with a workshop on global analysis of each student’s own ligand binding results in a seminar directed by Prof. Xue.
All students will present the results of their experiments in this course in a final morning session, with 10-minute talks each.