yesterday’s eventsKate Alfieri | February 23, 2010
I’ve made it back to Haverford where it’s cold and rainy and a lot less pleasant than San Francisco. Yesterday ended up being pretty busy so I didn’t get a chance to blog. So here goes…I went to the Membrane Active Peptides Platform with Heather in the morning since my research uses an antimicrobial peptide. Karl Lohner’s talk was the most useful for me – he had a good slide on E. coli lipids (which I work with) and model E. coli inner membrane lipids. He gave a couple parameters, like the average distance between the head groups, that I jotted down. While I feel like I’ve done a good deal of research on my peptide, the talk made me realize that I need to read up on my lipid systems a bit more. I also enjoyed Huan Rui’s talk on “Protegrin-1 orientation in membrane bilayers: insights from potential of mean force calculations as a function of its tilt and rotation angles.” Since I’m taking an experimental approach to investigating the interactions between an antimicrobial peptide and its membrane target, it’s nice to see theoretical work being done in the area.
Heather and I also went to the new members welcome coffee (I think the chocolate cakes gets a 4.5/5), where we got to chat with a couple new members, as well as a BPS committee member. I went to the poster session after lunch and got to stop by a poster from the Feix group (“Biophysical studies of cecropin-mellitin antimicrobial peptides with improved selectivity”) to hear what they’ve been doing lately with CM15 (same peptide I work with). They’re doing some interesting work trying to modify CM15′s sequence to decrease its hemolytic activity while maintaining its antimicrobial activity. I also made a point to stop by a poster (“Creating steroidal ligand-receptor pairs for behavioral studies of androgen receptor”) from the Fletterick group at UCSF. I interviewed with Robert Fletterick on Friday and he actually told me about the project that was presented in the poster session yesterday.