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Instruct inaugurates the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory to its Centre in the UK


On Monday 25 November 2019, the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory was officially launched as an Instruct-ERIC research site, marked by an inauguration event at the University of Leeds. The Astbury Biostructure Laboratory adds its world-leading cryo-EM and NMR facilities to the Instruct catalogue, allowing structural biologists across Europe to apply for a research visit through Instruct.


From left to right: Dr Arnout Kalverda, Dr James Ault, Dr Anastasia Zhuraleva, Prof Neil Ranson,
Dr Susan Daenke, Sir Alan Langlands, Prof Alexander Breeze, Prof Frank Sobott,
Dr Rebecca Thompson.


Opening a day packed with cutting-edge science, Professor Sheena Radford, Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, welcomed attendees and commended the new partnership between the Astbury Centre and Instruct-ERIC. Over the morning, facility staff showcased the cryo-EM, NMR and mass spectrometry technologies and expertise of the Astbury Centre, and later opened their doors for a tour the labs. Guests were also treated to two outstanding keynote lectures. Dr Matt Johnson of the University of Sheffield gave a first-hand account of collaboration with the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory, presenting a cryo-EM study of the structure of spinach cytochrome b6f complex (a key component of photosynthesis), recently published in Nature. Later, Dr Andrew Baldwin of the University of Oxford demonstrated the power of integrative methods in structural biology in research into protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases.


Visits to the NMR and Cryo-EM facilities at Astbury

To commemorate the inauguration of the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory, Dr Susan Daenke, Instruct Hub Coordinator, presented the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory with a commemorative plaque, which was accepted by Sir Alan Langlands, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds. Reflecting on the importance of structural biology in life science research, Sir Alan Langlands recognised the world-leading facilities at the Astbury Centre and the role of Instruct-ERIC in facilitating integrative and collaborative research.

Closing the proceedings, Neil Ranson, Professor of Structural Molecular Biology at the Unviersity of Leeds, finished with the words of W.T Astbury in 1948: “We need much more co-operation, much more fraternization, much more encouragement the one of the other, much more sharing of knowledge and much more asking of help.”

To find out more about the facilities of the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory that are available through Instruct-ERIC, click here.