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Professor David Stuart

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Duration: 0:55:01 | Added: 04 Jan 2023
Georgina Ferry interviews Sir David Stuart, Professor of Structural Biology, 10 June 2022.

Topics discussed include (00:01:33) early interest in biological sciences and education at King's College London and University of Bristol looking at crystallography and structure of proteins, work in China supported by Dorothy Hodgkin and David Phillips, work with Louise Johnson at Oxford and lectureship working on structural virology; (00:06:21) importance of knowing about the three-dimensional structure of a virus or protein; (00:09:13) small molecule therapeutics and drug design; (00:14:25) tools used to see these molecules, including x-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, modern crystallography; (00:18:52) synchotrons and their development, particularly in the U.K., Diamond Light Source; (00:20:45) first awareness of COVID-19, call from Rao Zihe in China in early 2020 and first work on the structure of SARS-CoV-2 protein using the Shanghai synchotron, set-up of a programme at Diamond and XChem system with Martin Walsh and Frank von Delft, dissemination of information from the work at Diamond on Twitter and resulting global collaboration and moonshot project; (00:29:50) work relating to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein; (00:33:28) prior knowledge and studies of other coronaviruses, structural similarities between different viruses; (00:35:40) strengths of STRUBI [Division of Structural Biology], work of postdoc Yuguang (Zhao) on structural work and protein design; (00:38:01) answers sought from working with the virus spike protein, including the making of reagents to give to individuals to do proof of principle experiments; (00:39:30) collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Insititute in Switzerland, Daniel Ebner at the Target Discovery Institute and Derrick Crook, particularly relating to serology testing; (00:42:41) discovery science and work to uncover the possibility for designing small molecule therapeutics against the spike protein; (00:45:00) work on the interaction of antibodies, collaboration with Gavin Screaton and work on gold standard serology, OPIC Green Suite and live virus work; (00:48:33) work with Jim Naismith and Ray Owens relating to nanobodies and development of high affinity nanobodies as potential therapeutics; (00:52:53) changes to working practices owing to the pandemic, regularity of meetings and renewed sense of collaboration between different departments and disciplines. Note: the following section of audio is redacted (00:28:40) to (00:28:58).

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