Robert Huber, winner of the Chemistry Nobel in 1988, has opined that protein crystallography has transformed the world of science.
Prof. Huber, who teaches at the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry, Germany, was delivering a lecture on “Beauty and purpose in the building blocks of life — the architecture of protein” at Mahatma Gandhi University here on Tuesday.
The lecture was part of the Erudite Scholar-in-Residence Programme, organised in association with the Kerala State Higher Education Council.
He said protein crystallography and associated mathematical modelling had changed the way scientific problems were viewed. He highlighted the various scopes for new drug therapy through the use of proteins in medicines.
Prof. Huber was recognised for his work in crystallising an intra-membrane protein important in photosynthesis in purple bacteria and subsequently applying X-ray crystallography to elucidate its structure. The information provided the first insight into structural bodies that performed the integral function of photosynthesis. The insight can be translated to understand the more complex analogue of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, which is essentially the same as that in chloroplasts of higher plants.
Rajan Gurukkal, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, presented a memento to Prof. Huber. C.T. Aravindakumar, convener of the Erudite Programme, welcomed the gathering.
Research scholars, faculty members and students of various university departments and affiliated colleges attended the lecture.
Prof. Huber will deliver lectures on “Proteases and regulation — basic science and application” on Thursday and “Foundations and application of protein crystallography” on Friday at the School of Chemical Sciences of the university. He will interact with students on Wednesday.