Astbury Conversation

Symposium 2016



Take a look at our photo gallery for images of the event.

Almost 300 biochemists, biologists, physicists and chemists from across the globe converged on Leeds for the inaugural Astbury Conversation on 11 and 12 April 2016.

The event theme “Understanding Complex Macromolecular Systems from Sparse Data” explored how it is possible to understand the complexity of life in molecular detail with the constantly developing toolkits available in biochemistry and structural molecular biology.

A packed programme featured PhD students, Postdoctoral fellows and many internationally renowned speakers, including:

  • Prof David Stuart FRS, on the advances in our understanding of virus structure
  • Prof David Barford FRS, on the APC/C structure and its mechanical cycle
  • Prof Helen Saibil FRS, on membrane pore forming proteins and their role in pathogenicity.
  • Prof. Michael Levitt FRS and Dr Sarah Harris examined the power of computer simulations to understand the complexity of protein dynamics and structure.
  • Prof Sheena Radford FRS and Prof Lewis Kay FRS spoke about the power of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to look at intrinsically disordered proteins

Short talks from Erin Cutts from Oxford and Anais Cassaignau from UCL, both working in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, were awarded student short talk prizes.

A vibrant poster session with beer and pizza provided a fertile ground for discussions, catching up with colleagues of the past and making new contacts and collaborations. Dr Simon White beat off competition from over 70 other researchers to win the poster prize, setting out his work on Hepatitis B: A DNA virus that assembles using a mechanism from an RNA virus, with Zainab Ahdash the runner up with a poster on the helicase nuclease system.

“The science was excellent, there was a great atmosphere and opportunity to talk about science, and the whole thing went very smoothly. I know this takes a lot of organisation.”

“What a fantastic and inspiring range of talks and topics.”

“Very much enjoyed many excellent talks and fruitful discussion at … the Astbury Conversation…It is really an exciting event. “

Public event 2016

The 2016 Astbury Conversation included a ‘hands on’ exhibition of some of the work taking place at Leeds, and an inspiring lecture by Nobel Prize winner Prof. Michael Levitt FRS. 



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