Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
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News

Biochemistry researchers make an impact at top biophysics meeting
The Biophysical Society Members of the department have returned from the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore with numerous recognitions for their work Published: 19 February 2015
Alison Woollard wins Genetics Society award
Image: Paul Wilkinson Congratulations to Professor Alison Woollard who has been awarded the 2015 JBS Haldane Lecture by the Genetics Society Published: 11 February 2015
Dr Sylvia McLain featured in 'International Innovation'
Dr Slyvia Mclain Dr Sylvia McLain is one of the women scientists featured in the latest issue of the science and technology magazine 'International Innovation'. Published: 3 February 2015

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Athena Swan Bronze Award

Vacancies

There are four job vacancies available

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Welcome

Mark Sansom, Head of Department

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry, part of the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division. We are one of the largest Biochemistry departments in the world and carry out world-class research and teaching. Our researchers come from a range of disciplines and work in a collaborative environment on all aspects of modern molecular and cellular biochemistry. We hope you enjoy reading more about our activities on these pages.

Professor Mark Sansom, Head of Department

News Highlight

Complete picture of flu virus envelope revealed

Researchers in the Biochemistry department have built a model of the intact influenza A virus outer envelope for the first time.

The work, co-ordinated by postdoctoral fellow Dr Tyler Reddy and with fellow researchers from the department, has appeared in Structure (1).

Influenza A virion on a mammaliam plasma membrane. GM3 glycolipids (green) on, and single transmembrane signalling proteins (orange) within, the host mammalian membrane. Forssman glycolipids (yellow), hemagglutinin proteins (red) and neuraminidase proteins (blue) of the virion

Influenza A virion on a mammaliam plasma membrane. Image courtesy of Heidi Koldsoe. The mammalian membrane has GM3 glycolipids (green) on it and single transmembrane signalling proteins (orange) within it. The virion has Forssman glycolipids (yellow), hemagglutinin proteins (red) and neuraminidase proteins (blue) (Click to enlarge)

By bringing together structural information from a variety of experimental sources, the researchers have uniquely included detailed analysis of the viral lipid envelope in their studies. Their model reveals characteristics that may help scientists understand how the virus survives in the wild and find new ways to combat it.

The influenza virus is surrounded by an envelope composed of a lipid bilayer and integral membrane proteins, including haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) that are recognized by the immune system. Whilst there is considerable high-resolution structural information about influenza viral proteins, much less is known about the lipids in the envelope.

Understanding the structural dynamics of the membrane envelope is important because it could provide insights into aspects of viral function such as the wide-ranging survival times of the virus particles in different environments.

A feature related to this is influenza seasonality. 'The annual influenza epidemics that affect human populations in temperate climates tend to be seasonal,' comments Dr Reddy. 'You would typically get your flu jab in the winter because that is when infection is most likely. It turns out that we don't fully understand the basis for influenza seasonality.'

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PhD Studentships

Studentships Available Royal Society Studentship

Events

Departmental Event 'Biochemistry Department Retreat 2015' Wednesday 22nd Apr to Thursday 23rd Apr St. Catherine's College, ,
Sponsored Event Rita Emberton from our Admin team is doing a sponsored parachute jump Saturday 11th April All proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. See her JustGiving page

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Seminars

SBCB Seminar Series Ben Morris, 'TBC' Thursday 5th Mar, 14:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
LMB Seminars Elena Seiradake, 'LMB seminar: Molecular mechanisms in brain development' Friday 6th Mar, 11:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Dr. Maya Topf, 'Fitting and Assessment of Atomic Models in 3D Electron Microscopy Maps of Macromolecular Assemblies' Thursday 12th Mar, 14:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
LMB Seminar Rebecca Batters (Garman Group) and Thomas Dixon (Garman Group), 'LMB seminar: Part II talks - Nitrate: A Multipurpose Scavenger and TBA' Friday 13th Mar, 11:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building


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