2012 Alumni Lecture celebrating Oxford Biochemistry graduate success

The second seminar in the annual ‘Star Alumni’ series celebrating the success of recent Oxford Biochemistry graduates has been given by Dr Andrew Carter from the MRC Lab of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge.

The annual seminar recognises the contribution of Oxford Biochemistry undergraduate training to the success of the biomedical research effort in the UK and internationally. It brings a newly-independent researcher into the department to talk about their research and career.

Dr Andrew Carter

Dr Andrew Carter

Dr Carter studied Biochemistry in Oxford during a period of intense activity in the field of structural biology – when the first crystal structures of a number of notable proteins including myosin, the F1-ATPase and the KcsA potassium channel were all solved.

Fascinated by the beauty of these structures and the insight they gave into biology, he decided to apply for PhD positions in X-ray crystallography and was offered a chance to work on the small ribosomal subunit with Venki Ramakrishnan at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. In addition to being part of the team that determined the X-ray crystal structure of the ribosomal subunit, he solved structures of the ribosome bound to antibiotics and the protein initiation factor IF1.

After his PhD, Dr Carter moved to Ron Vale’s lab at the University of California where he worked on the motor protein dynein. He accepted a position of group leader at the MRC Lab of Molecular Biology in 2008 and started there in 2010. His research at the LMB focuses on the structure and mechanism of dynein and uses a combination of X-ray crystallography and advanced single molecule techniques.

Dr Carter’s seminar on ‘Structure of the Dynein Motor’ took place on Monday 22 October in the main meeting room in the New Biochemistry Building.

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