25th Heart of Europe Bio-Crystallography Meeting, Germany, 21-23th September 2023

This year’s 25th Heart of Europe Bio-Crystallography Meeting (HEC-Meeting) took place in Salem, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany from September 21 to 23 and was organized by prof. Michael Lammers from the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Greifswald.

The HEC-Meeting is an annual academic conference on structural biology, in particular protein crystallography. Researchers from universities, other research institutions and industry from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland meet to present and discuss current topics of their research. The talks are predominantly given by PhD students. An exception is the invited HEC lecture, which is held by a renowned scientist in the research field. This year it was a lecture entitled ”Nature uses phosphatases” given by prof. Alfred Wittinghofer known for his research on the structure, function and mode of action of the GTP-binding proteins, especially the Ras oncoprotein.

Our group was represented by Sebastian Glatt, Przemysław Grudnik, Klaudia Woś, Piotr Wilk, Elżbieta Wątor, Marta Walczak, and Paweł Kochanowski.

On the first day after the opening remark, there were two sessions entitled “Structure-function analyses in bacterial and viral infection” and “Inhibitor development and disease”. On the second day, Marta Walczak presented her research project “Structural and functional characterization of the human tRNA thiolation cascade” during a session “Nucleic acids and nucleotide-modifying enzymes”. In the next session “Structures of macromolecular complexes and mechanisms” Paweł Kochanowski gave a talk entitled “Structural and functional characterization of the DHS-ERK2 complex” and Piotr Wilk gave a flash talk “Targeting human DHS through crystallographic fragment screening”. Although this conference has usually been dedicated mainly to discussing research conducted using protein crystallography, this year many research projects based on the cryo-EM technique were also presented. On the final day of the conference, Sebastian Glatt and Przemysław Grudnik shared the details of the 26th HEC-Meeting which will take place next year in Kraków, Poland. Moreover, Paweł Kochanowski won the HEC-25 Structure Best Talk Award. All in all this conference provided us with information about the diversity of structural biology research conducted in Europe.

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