COMSTECH Distinguished Scholars Webinar
Advanced Methods for Structure Determination of Proteins and their complexes: Drug Discovery for Motor Neuron Disease to COVID-19
Prof. Dr. Samar Hasnain
Date and Time: 09th September, 2021; 02:30 PM PKT
This webinar is open to academicians, scientists, and general public from all the OIC member states.
Profile of Speaker:
Samar Hasnain is a structural biologist with over 45 years of Synchrotron Radiation experience. He obtained a PhD in experimental Physics in 1976 from the University of Manchester on molecular crystals using synchrotron radiation at NINA. After spending a year as PDRA with Manchester he joined DESY in Hamburg as a DESY Fellow working on the Storage ring Synchrotron Radiation Facility, where during his stay at DESY, the synchrotron team created HASYLAB in 1978.
In 1979, Professor Hasnain joined the UK’s effort of establishing the world’s first dedicated synchrotron radiation source (SRS) as a full-time scientific staff member of the Daresbury national laboratory. In 1989, he established the Molecular Biophysics group at Daresbury where he remained as head of the group until March 2008 when he moved to the University of Liverpool as Max Perutz Professor of Molecular Biophysics where he established the Barkla X-ray laboratory of Biophysics, naming the X-ray laboratory after the Liverpool’s Nobel prize winner Charles Glover Barkla (1917) who had established the nature of Rontgen rays (X-rays) that helped to start the field of X-ray Crystallography. During 2011-2105 he was the International Lead for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences of the University of Liverpool.
He persuaded the International Union of Crystallography to launch the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation in 1993 and became its founding editor with Hiromichi Kamitsubo and John Helliwell. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IUCr Journals from 2012 to 2018. In 2014, he launched the IUCr’s flagship journal IUCrJ. He is a member of the International Advisory Board for IUCrJ. He is also an Editor of the Current opinion in Structural Biology and IUBMB Life.
He has been engaged with the SESAME synchrotron project in Jordan launched under the umbrella of UNESCO since its inception in 2004 and is the UK Government’s representative on its Council since its foundation. He is Chair of its Programme Review committee since 2018. Previously, he was the founding Chair of its Beamline Advisory Committee.
He is Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK, since 1991), Fellow of TWAS (since 1997), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK, since 2002) and Foreign Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (since 2017).
His main interest is in structure-function studies of proteins and their complexes that are involved in biological electron transfer, nitrogen cycles and neurodegenerative diseases. He has been involved in structure-based drug discovery targeted towards neurodegenerative diseases and malaria.
Hasnain has pioneered an approach to defining the structures of metalloproteins that combines not only X-ray crystallography and solution X-ray scattering, now used widely in the structural biology community, but also X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and optical spectroscopies. More recently, he has included cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) in his toolkit and has applied to a number of membrane proteins effectively. The integration of spectroscopic methods with crystallography has proved powerful in providing validation of ‘functional’ states of enzymes as well as providing a route to identifying ‘radiation-damage free structures’. The value of this integrated approach has been recognized widely and has been adopted by the metalloprotein research community worldwide. His drive to obtain ‘damage-free’ structure has led to (i) the ‘multiple structures serially obtained from one crystal’ (MSOX) technique that allows an opportunity to capture radiolytically-driven chemical reactions in the crystal and (ii) the use of XFEL for providing damage-free structures for redox proteins.
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