Nobel prize winner, Professor Johann Deisenhofer, has told a UQ audience that structural biology has contributed to almost all aspects of biological research since the 1950s.Prof Deisenhofer accepts a gift

Professor Deisenhofer delivered a lecture entitled ‘Structural Biology: Challenges and Prospects’ on 13 September at the St Lucia campus, as part of UQ Centenary celebrations by the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences.

Professor Deisenhofer said that there had been a "continuing need to push the boundaries of current techniques for structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids, as well as larger assemblies".

According to Professor Deisenhofer, Stuctural Biology has been advanced not only by improvements in technology, but also by innovative individuals who have refused to accept what's "impossible".

He was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Professor Hartmut Michel and Professor Robert Huber for their crystal structure determination of the membrane-bound photosynthetic reaction centre.

Currently, he works the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Approximately 170 staff, students and friends of the School, including members of the University Senior Management Committee, attended the lecture.  The visit to UQ was particularly significant  for SCMB's Professor Bostjan Kobe, whose PhD was supervised by Professor Deisenhofer.

Professor Deisenhofer visited UQ in conjunction with the Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellowship, which commemorates the contributions of Professor M.R. Lemberg, FAA, FRS to science in Australia.

He is one of a long line of distinguished international guests to deliver public lectures for SCMB in 2010.

Image: Professor Deisenhofer at the conclusion of his lecture


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