Utrecht by Ramon Smits

SMALP 2019 Meeting in Utrecht

The next annual SMALP Conference will be held in Utrecht on Friday April 26, 2019. We'll discuss the latest developments in polymer chemistry, methods and applications in membrane biology, biophysics and structural biology and explore new alternatives. The conference includes a poster session, where you can present your results. Workshops will be offered in Antoinette Killian's laboratory on 25th and potentially on 29th.
In addition to learning more about SMALPing and native nanodiscs, you'll have the opportunity to celebrate King’s day, which is a very special festival holiday in The Netherlands.

Pre-register at no cost:

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Antoinette Killian, Professor at Utrecht University, heads the research group Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics and aims to understand interactions between membrane proteins and lipids. She explores SMA as a tool to study these interactions using model systems as well as biological membranes.

Tim Dafforn, Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Birmingham and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, co-invented the SMALP system for research into membrane proteins by methods including SANS, SAXS and cEM, and presented SMALPs: polymers, lipids and proteins.


Michael Overduin, Professor, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta is developing novel amphipathic polymers and methods to solubilize and study native membrane protein complexes including infectious prions and beta barrels.



Confirmed Speakers

Vincent Postis, Leeds Beckett University, focuses on functional and structural characterisation of membrane transporters, and develops techniques including SMALP methods to improve membrane protein production and crystallisation, including the design of automated methods for the high throughput cloning, expression, 2D & 3D crystallisation and elucidation of membrane protein structures by cryo-EM. He is also Editor In Chief at Molecular Membrane Biology.

Jean-Louis Baneres, Head of the Molecular Pharmacology Department at the Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron, Université Montpellier is interested in membrane protein biochemistry, purification approaches and G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) functioning in their native conformations.

Karen Edler , Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Bath and member of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology and Centre for Biosensors, Bioelectronics and Biodevices focuses on the formation of functional, hierarchically structured materials in order to design new materials including micelles, nanoparticles, polymers using self-assembly in solution and at interfaces.

Siewert Jan Marrink, Head of Molecular Dynamics Group, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Groningen is unravelling the lateral organization principles of biological membranes, and developing efficient computational models to simulate molecular processes. He is the Director of the Berendsen Center for Multiscale Modeling and Material Design, an European Research Council Advanced Grant awardee and organizer of Martini Workshops.

Bob Gennis, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies the structure and mechanisms of prokaryotic respiratory enzymes that generate a membrane potential, and recently published on the Structure of the alternative complex III (ACIII) from Flavobacterium johnsoniae in SMA copolymer nanodiscs by cryoEM.


Sandro Keller, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Vice Dean, Faculty of Biology, University of Kaiserslautern and Associate Editor, Biophysics Section, Journal of Membrane Biology, studies the design, assembly and exchange dynamics of SMA and DIBMA based lipid particles.

Bert Klumperman is holder of the South African Research Chair on Advanced Macromolecular Architectures at the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University. He investigates nano-structured materials for biomedical applications, conducts mechanistic and kinetic studies of radical polymerisation processes, and performs exploratory polymer chemistry for advanced applications.


Adrian Kopf, PhD student in the group of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands is investigating the influence of comonomer composition and length on membrane solubilization to form SMALP (native) nanodiscs.

To be confirmed:

Ayyalusamy (Rams) Ramamoorthy is the Robert W. Parry Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics at the University of Michigan. He investigates the ligand interactions, folding, aggregation and dynamic structures of membrane-associated proteins using methods including solid state NMR approaches and novel SMA derivatives, and presented Nanodiscs and Macro-Nanodiscs for Structural Studies by NMR.

Past SMALP Meetings:

Overcoming Bottlenecks in Membrane Biology

Max Bell Auditorium, Banff Conference Centre on April 11, 2018.

Download the Program (PDF)

The SMALP community assembled into native nanodiscs with red, blue, black and white clothed people indicating protein, lipid, styrene and maleic acid components, respectively.

Nanoparticle Technologies for Membrane Protein Research Meeting

Location: Leeds Beckett University, UK

Dates: June 27-28, 2017

Organizers: Tim Dafforn, Sarah Lee, Naomi Pollock, Vincent Postis

Speakers: Steve Sligar, Bonnie Wallace, Tim Dafforn, Sandro Keller, Tony Watts

South African SMALP Meeting 2017

Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Dates: April 10-13, 2017

Format: During the UNESCO/IUPAC Conference

Organized by Bert Klumperman, South African Research Chair in Advanced Macromolecular Architectures at the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University

Berkeley SMALP Conference 2017

Location: Berkeley, California, USA

Date: March 24, 2017

Organizers: Tomas Laursen, Jana Broecker and Michael Overduin

Program and Flyer


Toronto SMALP Conference 2016

Location: Hart House Music Room, University of Toronto

Date: Friday April 29, 2016

Timetable: SMA training workshop from 8:00am (free activated SMA provided) and a lively, interactive meeting from 9:00am - 5:00pm

See the Event Flyer, Attendee List and Programme

North American SMALP Conference in Toronto attendees. The red sweaters represent protein, others are lipids.
toronto smalp group 2016