Complimentary Biophysical Methods: Studying Macromolecular Structure and Interactions

The UNESCO Chair in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at BZU and the Department of Physics organized a short course on "Biophysical Methods in Protein Studies," during 17-26 2011.

Professor Joseph (Gluseppe) Zaccai, a senior fellow at the Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France, gave a total of 10 lectures during these two weeks. The lectures dealt with the basic physics of X-ray and "Neutron Small Angle Scattering," and electron microscopy, and their application to studying macromolecular structure and interactions. The material covered a range of topics of interest to physicists, biologists and chemists. The targeted audience consisted of physics, biology and chemistry faculty and graduate students from BZU and other Palestinian universities.

This visit by Professor Zaccai was a contribution of a series of visits and workshops by French scientists on "Protein Structure Studies" that have been arranged in cooperation with the University of Paris Sud 11. These visits have been generously supported by the French Consulate in Jerusalem, aiming to establish and strengthen research relations with French scientists and universities.


Schedule of lectures:

Thursday Feb 17:  At 11:00 to 1:00 Room: SCI216
- Physics and Biology: mastering the languages of two disciplines that ask
different questions.
- Length and Time scales (Physics): instruments and methods (our eyes and
ears) a brief overview.
- Length and Time scales (Biology): from molecules to cells (what we have
seen and heard when we examined Life).

Saturday Feb 19At 11:00 to 1:00 Room: SCI312 (Meeting Room) 
- Comparing radiation scattering and spectroscopy methods in molecular
structural biology (diffraction, NMR...).
- General principles and complementarity between X-ray, neutron
diffraction, and electron microscopy.
- Molecular structural biology: gallery of structure-function
relationships in molecular machines.

Tuesday Feb 22: At 11:00 to 1:00 Room: SCI216
- Interactions in solution from Small Angle Scattering: Biological relevance.
- Interactions in solution from Small Angle Scattering: X-ray and neutron
instrumentation and methods.

Thursday Feb 24At 11:00 to 1:00 Room: SCI216
- Everything moves: importance of molecular dynamics in Biology.
- Physics methods to observe and study molecular dynamics.

Saturday Feb 26: At 11:00 to 1:00 Room: SCI312 (Meeting Room) 
- Student questions and general discussion... research opportunities in
structural biology