Course content this year is a direct response to the results of the NMR users' survey sent out in April. Thanks to all who participated. The programme reflects the requirements of the majority of respondents and we hope that everyone will be able to benefit from it!
The level of instruction is aimed at Year 2 PhD students working with protein NMR, but anyone is very welcome to attend. Introductions to each topic will be given, to bring everyone to the same level at the outset. Basic NMR knowledge and previous exposure to product operators is assumed. Here is the daily schedule.
Monday 4th November
Day 1 - Pulse sequences (Instructor: Prof Geerten Vuister)
We all use pulse sequences to collect our NMR data, but do we really understand them enough to know that we're getting the best possible data from our valuable samples? Today the goal is to explore pulse sequences and become more familiar with what they do, and to understand which parameters are important to optimise for the best results. Pulse sequences for resonance assignment and structure determination as well as those for the study of large proteins and complexes will be dicussed.
Tuesday 5th November
Day 2 - Residual Dipolar Couplings (Instructor: Prof Martin Blackledge)
By now, we all appreciate the importance of the NOE as a distance restraint in structure determination by NMR. But what do we use instead when NOEs become elusive as a result of, for example, dynamics and lack of structure, or when we wish to define long-range order more precisely? Prof Blackledge will persuade us that all is not lost, by guiding us through the theory of RDCs in the morning and offering practical examples of RDC analysis using his own software, MODULE (freely available for academics), in the afternoon.
Wednesday 6th November
Day 3 - Relaxation & Dynamics (Instructors: Prof Paul Driscoll, Dr Flemming Hansen)
These are big (and exciting!) topics in protein NMR, and we all know that they can take some time (and practice) to master. Once you begin to delve into spin relaxation, however, it soon becomes clear just how far you can go in characterising the structure and dynamics of proteins using information derived from spin relaxation methods. Prof Driscoll takes on the challenge to teach spin relaxation clearly and concisely while Dr Hansen supplements the day with the all-important practical side of data collection and analysis.
Thursday 7th November
Day 4 - Ligand discovery by NMR (Instructor: Dr Elisabetta Chiarparin)
The focus of this session will be on the practical aspects of ligand discovery, both in terms of NMR methods and of sample requirements and preparation. Dr Chiarparin will review the methods and key experiments used to identify and characterise ligand:receptor interactions by NMR. The applicability and limitations of various NMR methods when applied to ligand discovery will also be discussed. A range of common problems that can occur when identifying and charcacterising ligands by NMR will be highlighted, together with ways of recognising these when they (inevitably) occur.