Professor George H. Lorimer from University of Maryland visited IBP and delivered the Shizhang Bei Lecture
On June 4, 2015, Prof. George Huntly Lorimer visited the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences at the invitation of Prof. Chih-Chen Wang, and gave the Shizhang Bei Lecture entitled “Optimizing protein folding with a parallel-processing, iterative annealing machine”.
Prof. Lorimer is a distinguished university professor of Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Maryland. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1996, and member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1997. In the same year, he obtained Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. His early work focused on the structure, assembly, activation, and the reaction mechanism of Rubisco, a key enzyme in the carbon fixation reaction of photosynthesis. Then, he illustrated the allosteric regulation mechanism of GroEL-GroES as a chaperone to facilitate protein folding, and solved the crystal structure of the functional, symmetrical components GroEL-GroES2. Prof. Lorimer is a pioneer in the chaperone researches, and has made profound contributions to this field.
Prof. Chih-Chen Wang hosted the lecture, which attracted many researchers and graduate students from IBP and Peking University. Prof. Lorimer firstly made a brief introduction of chaperone history, and displayed the crystal and Cryo-EM structures of GroEL-GroES chaperonin. He then explained the working mechanism of GroEL-GroES chaperonin machine in three parts: the first, how does GroEL recognize its substrate proteins; the second, how does the movement of allosteric domain couple to substrate protein folding, and how does GroEL “work” on the substrates; the third, how to use different techniques to monitor all the events during the chaperonin cycle, such as ATP hydrolysis, domain movements, substrate protein binding/release and GroES binding/release.
The lecture was very interesting and impressive to all the audience. Prof. Lorimer and the audience interacted actively after the lecture. During the lecture, Prof. Lorimer gave an elegant model of GroEL-GroES complex to Prof. Wang as a gift, and Prof. Wang presented a souvenir on behalf of IBP to Prof. Lorimer at the end of the seminar.