Astbury Conversation 2022

25-26 April 2022

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Who is Astbury?

The Astbury Centre builds on the vision and achievements of W.T. (Bill) Astbury, one of the pioneers of modern molecular biophysics, who laid many of the foundations of the field during a long research career at the University of Leeds (1928-1961).

Astbury originally identified the two major recurring patterns of protein structure (alpha and beta), and took the first X-ray fibre diffraction pictures of DNA (in 1938). He is widely credited as having coined the term molecular biology.

The Astbury Centre’s logo captures some of this early discovery, as it is an artistic representation of a protein chain in the alpha and beta conformations and their conformational transitions that Astbury helped to define. To read about the full history of Bill Astbury and the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, click here.

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Our research

The Centre exists to support interdisciplinary research that spans physics, chemistry, biology and medicine, with the unifying aim that it seeks to understand life in molecular detail. We undertake fundamental research that tries to understand the molecular mechanisms that underpin biological and biomedical process.

Where applicable, we also try to understand where those processes go wrong in disease and discover new tools to study and manipulate them. As such, researchers in the Centre work on problems as diverse as Cancer and protein aggregation, or Virus Infection and drug discovery.

The Astbury Centre current has 75 group leaders and the Current Director of the Astbury Centre is Sheena Radford.

Some of our recent work includes: 
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