SMALP network
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SMALP Conference Registration

Our conferences bring together leading scientists from various disciplines, including biochemistry, biophysics, spectroscopy, chemical biology, polymer chemistry, advanced imaging, and cell biology.

The development of innovative extraction methods, such as copolymers like SMA, membrane protein scaffolds, saposins, peptidiscs, and native vesicle extractionhas driven progress in this field.

Amphipathic polymers fragment membranes into water-soluble discs, allowing the complex structures and interactions found in vivo to be discerned, without requiring synthetic detergents or artificial lipids. This is yielding new insights, tools and models of how membranes operate and can be manipulated.

SMALP WebConference on March 12, 2024

Speakers and draft schedule on March 12:

8:45 am (Mountain Standard Time): Introductions and Tips & Tricks

Session 1 chaired by Stephen Muench, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

Jelger Risselada9:00 Prof. Jelger Risselada, Department of Physics, TU Dortmund University on Membrane facial recognition: How proteins actually see cholesterol.

Manuel Etzkornci chu9:20 Dr. Manuel Etzkorn and his PhD student Ci Chu at Heinrich-Heine-University will present on capturing GPCRs into native lipid-bilayer nanodiscs using DIBMA copolymers.

9:40 Cube Biotech will provide insights into the latest nanodisc technologies and their applications for membrane protein analysis. More details to follow.

Session 2 chaired by Claudio Catalano, Senior Scientist, NanoImaging Services

Marzieh Tabefam10:05 Marzieh Tabefam, Ph. D. student at Wilfrid Laurier University with Matt Smith on Exploring the Interconnection of Mitochondrial Carrier Proteins Involved in Energy Transfer.

peter kim10:25 Peter Kim, Ph.D. Student with Prof. Oliver Ernst, U Toronto on structures of channel rhodopsin paralogs in peptidiscs and their contrasting K+ and Na+ selectivities.

Doreen MatthiesElissa Moller10:45 Doreen Matthies, Investigator, NICHD and PhD student Elissa Moller on using cryo-EM and polymers to resolve structures of membrane proteins including mechanosensitive channels.

Session 3 chaired by Prof. Barry Bruce, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville 

Rams11:10 Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, Professor at Florida State University and NHMFL on detergent-free membrane protein isolation using nanodisc-forming polymers and nanodisc-forming peptides.

wayland-cheng11:20 Wayland Cheng, Associate Professor, Washington University, on lipid nanodisc scaffold and size altering the structure of a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel.

Amin-Arnaout11:40 Amin Arnaout, Professor and Brian Adair, Instructor at Harvard Medical School on cryo-EM structures of human integrins in native lipids.

12:00 Closing Discussion

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.

SMA polymer

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.