The intrinsically disordered protein subgroup is only ~four years old but already is in the position of providing some of the most interesting and topical material at the BPS meeting. This year is no different and those responsible should be recognized for their hard work.
As an educator I am always particularly interested to see what is going on in this area, which explores all aspects and roles of proteins or protein subdomains that have no native structure, in what on the surface is a direct violation of some basic tenets of biochemistry still taught to undergraduates everywhere. After her illuminating talk on a protein (a bacterial heat shock protein) that assumes its protective cellular role only when unfolded (usually under oxidative stress conditions), Ursula Jakob admitted to teaching her intro-biochem students the dogma that her talk directly contradicts! I hope that most of my students will “grow up” in a scientific environment in which the often-incorrect classical dogma is either constantly under deconstruction or just thrown out in favor of a more expansive and current, evidence-based view, and the IDP subgroup is constantly serving up such cases.
The BPS meeting is an idea well for me, since I was not trained as a biologist in the least and I see new things that challenge my point of view every time I am here. With all due respect to award winners, each year, the best and most provocative talks are presented on Saturday in the subgroup meetings. The rooms are small and usually packed, and the publicity for these talks by the Society is not usually so large, but Saturday is the one day that no one should miss.
That said: they need to keep the talks on time, since I am about to run into a conflict betweek Kate’s getting her travel award and a talk I really need to hear.