SMALP network



Manhattan by Kings of Hearts

Welcome to the SMALP Community

The next International SMALP Conference is being held by Zoom on Friday May 28, 2021 from 9am-noon MDT (Alberta time), and will be preceded by a SMALP Industry Club meeting from 7-8:50am MDT.

Register below to find out about the latest developments in the field of native nanodiscs, including nanodisc and polymer design, immobilization strategies for screening membrane targets, and analysis of membrane protein folding, interactions, structures and assembly using methods including fluorescence imaging, cryoEM, NMR, x-ray scattering and mass spectrometry and photometry.

Confirmed speakers:

Mahmoud Nasr, Harvard Medical School, who recently published Cryo-EM structure of an activated GPCR-G protein complex in lipid nanodiscs.

Yuhang Chen, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences will present on Structure and activity of SLAC1 channels for stomatal signaling in leaves

Cameron Workman, Chemistry Department, U Tennessee Knoxville, works with Barry Bruce and will present Protein Extraction Efficiency and Selectivity of Esterified Styrene-Maleic Acid Copolymers in Thylakoid Membranes

Sophie Harvey is a Senior Research Associate with Vicki Wysocki at Ohio State University and will present on Characterizing lipoprotein nanodiscs using native mass spectrometry and surface-induced dissociation”.

Shuo Qian at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory will present on the Structure of Diisobutylene Maleic Acid Copolymer (DIBMA) and Its Lipid Particle as a “Stealth” Membrane-Mimetic for Membrane Protein Research.

Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics, University of Michigan on Nanodiscs for structure and dynamics studies on membrane-bound REDOX protein-protein complexes.

Dr. Kin Hoi, a researcher with Carol Robinson at the University of Oxford, will present on Detergent-free Lipodisq Nanoparticles Facilitate High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry of Folded Integral Membrane Proteins.

Sandro Keller, Professor, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, will present a new non-aromatic polymer that is more efficient than DIBMA and gives rise to smaller, more homogenous nanodiscs.

Schedule for SMALP Conference on February 26, 2021

Session 1 Chair: Sandro Keller, University of Graz

11:00 Dr. Jan Kubicek, Business Development, Laboratory Management, Quality Control at Cube Biotech.

11:20 Adrian Kopf, Utrecht University, who is analyzing a variety of different polymers that form nanodiscs as part of his PhD thesis.

11:40 Vanessa  Flegler, Universität Würzburg:  "The mechanosensitive channel YnaI has a gating mechanism based on flexible pore helices"  

Session 2 Chair: Youzhong Guo, Virginia Commonwealth University

12:00 Dr. Patrick A. de Jonge, Amsterdam UMC, whose studies include "Development of SMALPs as a tool for studies of phage-host interaction"

12:20 Professor Bernadette Byrne, Imperial College London; her  studies include "Modulation of PTH1R signaling by an ECD binding antibody results in inhibition of β-arrestin 2 coupling" 

12:40 Professor Paula Booth, King's College London will speak on "Co-translational folding of membrane proteins"; her lab focusses on nanodiscs and folding of membrane proteins including GPCRs, transporters and ribosome nascent chains complexes

Session 3 Chair: Sundaresan Rajesh, GSK

13:00 Dr.  Tim Dafforn, University of Birmingham, on SMALPs, recent papers include "Nano-encapsulated Escherichia coli Divisome Anchor ZipA, and in Complex with FtsZ"

13:20 Dr. James Mitchell-White who works with Ian D. Kerr at the University of Nottingham, who recently published "Application of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to study substrate binding in styrene maleic acid lipid copolymer encapsulated ABCG2"

13:40 Dr. Jose Ortega Roldan, University of Kent on "Elucidating membrane interactions of proteins and small molecules combining solution NMR and SMALPs"

Session 4 Chair: Chanelle Brown, Virginia Tech

14:00 Dr. Greg Dodge, a postdoc with Barbara Imperiali, MIT, on "Utilizing SMALPs for biochemical and structural studies of glycoconjugate biosynthesis in human pathogens"

14:20 Dr. Sukriti Gakhar, Associate Scientist at Ascendis Pharma, previously at UC Davis and Genentech, on "Immobilization of membrane proteins using SMALPs in sol-gel based silica gel monoliths".

14:40 Discussion and Close

European SMALP Conference

The European SMALP 2022 Conference is being held in Birmingham, UK from April 6-8, and is being organized by the Biochemical Society with sponsors including Nanotemper. This will be preceded by UK workshop on membrane proteins at Aston University from April 4-6.

Background on SMALP

The SMALP system is being developed by the international research community as an alternative to conventional detergents, which tend to dissociate, destabilize and deactivate native membrane proteins.


A variety of amphipathic polymers like styrene maleic anhydride have been found to directly and spontaneously solubilize proteins and bound lipids from membranes when activated. This provides opportunities for understanding and exploiting the structure and function of native membrane protein complexes.

As SMALP technology is relatively new, the participation of the wider community and sharing of new ideas and practices amongst researchers is the best way to ensure continued rapid development of the field.

Join our network and come to our meetings to discover how SMALP materials and methods could be used in your research.

Join our community.

The SMALP network offers polymers, methods and meetings to support the growing community of scientists and companies interested in the preparation of membrane nanodiscs formed by polymers including styrene maleic acid for biological research and drug discovery applications.

Register for a day of insightful talks from experts in the structural biology and functions of membrane proteins and nanodisc development, discussions with academic and industry leaders, and enjoy breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks on us.

These events are offered to bring together academic and industry experts, postdocs and students who are interested in membrane protein structural biology, lipidomics, proteomics, target discovery and biophysical analysis of bilayers and amphipathic polymers.

We welcome researchers from across academia and industry to join us in lively discussions and debate about the latest advances in native nanodiscs, membrane proteins, polymer chemistry, lipid biophysics, structural biology, and applications including drug discovery and delivery.