IBP Network Webinar: Dr Allen Orville - Dynamic structure biology at synchrotrons and XFELs

Image: Dr Allen Orville
Dr Allen Orville

Date: 4 August 2021   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

This event has been postponed to 15:00-16:00 on 4th August 2021 (BST).

Over the past 10 years, humans have built and opened five X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) facilities; one each in the USA, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and Switzerland. These linear electron accelerators generate X-rays in such intense and short bursts that they are a new, paradigm-shifting tool impacting nearly all scientific disciplines. My group and collaborators design novel strategies that link together structural and functional analysis to study several types of enzymes engaged in catalysis. As a field, we are entering an era of dynamic structural biology wherein scientists routinely create time-resolved, stop-motion molecular movies of complex biological systems with data from XFELs and from more common synchrotrons (circular electron accelerators) like Diamond Light Source. We have recently conducted several experiments by remote participation using several types of communication tools during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

About the speaker:
Dr. Allen M. Orville is a Wellcome Investigator, Royal Society Wolfson Fellow, and Group Leader of the XFEL Hub at Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire UK. He has roughly equal training in spectroscopy and macromolecular crystallography (MX), and often applies both methods to the same samples. This approach yields correlated electronic and atomic structures of macromolecules and supports unparalleled mechanistic insights. The Orville group uses both synchrotron and X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) sources for serial MX strategies that exploit microcrystal slurries. His research includes time-resolve studies ranging from femtoseconds through seconds with data collected at XFELs located in the USA, Japan, Korea, Germany or Switzerland. To study reactions from microseconds through seconds, the group exploits synchrotron sources including Diamond Light Source beamlines I24 and VMXi. Some current research topics include:

  • Metalloenzymes that activate O2 and create reactive intermediates such as Fe(IV)=O to catalyse some of the most energetically challenging reactions in biology,
  • (Metallo)Enzymes that cleave beta-lactam antibiotics and thereby provide antimicrobial resistance to a range of human pathogens,
  • Proteases critical to viral life cycles, including SARS-CoV-2 with potential impact on antiviral drug discovery
  • Light-activated systems that respond to and/or catalyse reactions that are ultimately driven by visible light photons, and
  • Methods development ranging from sample preparation to reaction initiation strategies to data collection/processing and to interpretation of time-resolved datasets from macromolecular systems at physiological temperature that are often engaged in catalysis/function.

About IBP Network Webinar Series:

  • Open to all IBP Network members. (Not a member? Join here)
  • To bring together members of our community.
  • Talks from eminent scientists, beamline scientists and facility specialists across the world.
  • 30 – 45 minutes talk followed by 5-15 minutes Q&A.
  • Talk will be recorded (except the Q&A) and made available to all network members.

If you wish to suggest a future topic or speaker please contact us, speakers could be from academia, industry, within IBP Network or from further a field.

Register for the webinar here.

Location:  Online, Zoom
Contact:  Ruikang Xue