An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Protein-Protein Interactions in Vitro and in Vivo

21 - 23 June 2004

Organisers: Dr Richard Sear (Surrey), Dr Jonathan Doye, Dr Ard Louis and Dr Michele Vendruscolo (Cambridge)

in association with the Newton Institute programme entitled Statistical Mechanics of Molecular and Cellular Biological Systems

Draft Programme | Participants | Accepted Posters

Image of protein string

Diagrams of proteins

On the left-hand side is a conventional diagram, as widely used in molecular biology, of adenylate kinase, where the chain of amino acids is drawn by loops, with cylinders for the alpha helices. On the right-hand side is a diagram of a simple, `physicists's' model of a protein, where the protein is taken to be cubic and where the differences in binding strengths of the different faces are denoted by different colours.

Image of protein cube

Theme of Conference:

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together biologists and physicists working on protein-protein interactions, including aggregation and crystallisation.

Most of the dry mass of cells is protein, and proteins do most of the `work' in cells. Understanding their function is therefore essential to understand cells. The function of globular proteins requires specific and often very strong interactions, e.g. for recognition, in a complex mixture of thousands of other proteins. The proteins must also fold, be soluble, and avoid binding to other proteins, DNA, etc.

The workshop will bring together scientists from the physical and biological sciences to study how this feat is accomplished. Topics will include protein crystallisation and aggregation, protein interaction networks, macromolecular crowding, and related issues.

It will include a poster session where participants may present and discuss their work with scientist from theoretical physicists to structural biologists.

Invited speakers

MW Deem (Rice), CM Dobson (Cambridge), AL Fink (California), JL Harden (Johns Hopkins), J Janin (CNRS), AP Minton (NIDDK), L Pearl (Cancer Research), J Thornton (EBI, Cambridge ), PG Vekilov (Houston).

Location and Cost

The workshop will be held at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, and is associated with the Institute's "Statistical Mechanics of Molecular and Cellular Biological Systems" programme. Participants of the programme will take part in the workshop, along with an additional 25 attendees. These attendees will be drawn from a wide-range of disciplines: ranging from biomedicine, to theoretical physics. Accommodation for participants will be provided in single study bedrooms with shared bathroom at Wolfson Court. The conference package, costing £155, includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner from lunch on Monday 21 June to lunch on Wednesday 23 June 2004

The workshop is supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. There is funding available to support UK-based participants. Also, preference will be given to UK-based participants.

Applications Forms

The closing date for the receipt of applications has now passed

Travel and Local Information

How to reach the Newton Institute | Local Information

Please address enquiries and requests for further information to Richard Sear (

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