Scientific Seminars

Below is a list of upcoming seminars at the LMB aimed at a general scientific audience and open to individuals throughout Cambridge. If you are not at the LMB and wish to attend a seminar, please contact Nikki Dominguez.

The LMB hosts ‘The LMB Seminar Series’, where 1-2 leading scientists per month are invited to speak throughout the year. Four of these lectures are named in honour of LMB Nobel Laureates Max Perutz, Francis Crick, César Milstein and John Kendrew, given by eminent scientists from around the world. The LMB Seminar talks and LMB Named Seminar talks are advertised widely throughout the local area and are open to all.

2017 LMB Seminar Series speakers (click to expand)

  • Jane Clarke – 11am, 23rd January
  • Thomas Sudhof – 4pm, 9th February (Milstien Lecture)
  • Carol Robinson – 11am, 7th March
  • Michaela Frye – 11am, 24th March
  • Caroline Dean – 4pm, 27th April (2016 Perutz Lecture)
  • Marc Kirschner – 4th May
  • Dan Durocher – 11am, 15th May
  • Chris Lima – 14th July
  • Patrick Cramer – 4pm, 5th September
  • Jack Szostak – 4pm, 7th September (Crick Lecture)
  • Erin O’Shea – 11am, 15th November (Perutz Lecture)


A full list of LMB Named Lectures to date can be found here.

Details of other local seminars can be found here

  • Membrane proteins - the lipid connection

    Speaker: Carol Robinson, University of Oxford
    Host: Lori Passmore
    Date: 07/03/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    The realisation that the lipid environment is crucial for maintaining the structure and function of membrane proteins prompts new methods to understand lipid interactions. One such method, mass spectrometry, is emerging with the potential to monitor different modes of lipid binding to membrane protein complexes. Initial studies monitored the addition of lipids and deduced the kinetic and thermodynamic effects of lipid binding to proteins. Recently however, we have focused on identifying lipids already present, explicitly in plugs, annular rings or cavities. Lipids that bind within these orifices to membrane proteins will have higher residence times than those in the bulk lipid bilayer and consequently can be quantified and characterized by mass spectrometry. In special cases, lipids identified within cavities have been proposed as substrates following activity assays. Alternatively, a gas phase unfolding protocol can be used to distinguish lipids that are important for stability. In this lecture I will provide an overview of recent advances in mass spectrometry, with a particular focus on the distinction of the various modes of lipid binding, their implications for structure and function, as well as new directions that lie ahead. 

  • Mucosal immunology of asthma

    Speaker: Bart Lambrecht, Ghent University
    Host: Immunology and Medicine Seminar Series, LMB and CIMR
    Date: 10/03/2017 at 1:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • The role of BRCA2 at the telomere and centromere in maintaining chromosome integrity

    Speaker: Professor Hyunsook Lee, Seoul National University, Korea
    Host: David Barford, MRC LMB
    Date: 14/03/2017 at 2:00pm in the Klug Seminar Room, Level 2, LMB.

  • Towards understanding mechanisms of transcription termination in eukaryotes

    Speaker: Doctor Lidia Vasilieva, Dept. of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
    Host: Lori Passmore, MRC LMB
    Date: 15/03/2017 at 11:00am in the Klug Seminar Room, Level 2, LMB.

  • Towards a structure-function understanding of class B GPCR activation and signalling

    Speaker: Professor Patrick M. Sexton, Drug Discovery Biology Theme, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University
    Host: Madan Babu Mohan, MRC LMB
    Date: 23/03/2017 at 2:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    In recent years, it has become clear that individual G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can exist in multiple receptor conformations and can elicit numerous functional responses, both G protein- and non-G protein-mediated. This has led to the discovery that different ligands can stabilize distinct subsets of receptor conformations that can “traffic” stimulus to diverse functional outputs with varying prominence, a concept referred to as biased agonism or ligand-directed signaling. The secretin-like, B subclass of GPCRs binds physiologically important peptide hormones, including secretin, calcitonin, amylin glucagon and the glucagon-like peptides. Like most GPCRs, this subfamily of receptors exhibits pleiotropic signaling and is subject to biased agonism. Through combination of mutagenesis, advanced analytical methods and computer modeling, we are unraveling the mechanisms that underlie efficacy and biased agonism at class B GPCRs. Scanning mutagenesis of the extracellular loops reveals discrete patterns of residues involved in ligand-specific activation of discrete pathways, including cAMP formation, ERK phosphorylation and calcium mobilization. Furthermore, conformational changes are propagated through polar networks in the transmembrane bundle, in a ligand-specific manner. Intriguingly, different peptide/GPCR complexes appear to promote distinct conformations of effector G protein that alter the rate of guanine nucleotide exchange, providing an additional mechanism through which efficacy can be altered. To better understand these observations we have recently solved, via cry-EM, structures of the calcitonin receptor in complex with a peptide agonist and the Gs heterotrimeric G protein at a resolution of ~3.8A for the most abundant substructure. The receptor/Gs complex is dynamic with multiple metastable structures identifiable with clear distinctions in the positioning of the Gas alpha-helical and the orientation of the N-terminal extracellular domain relative to the transmembrane receptor core. These data reveal novel information on the conformational rearrangement of the transmembrane receptor core to enable engagement of peptide agonist and G protein.

  • RNA methylation in development and disease

    Speaker: Michaela Frye, University of Cambridge
    Host: Andrew Carter
    Date: 24/03/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    Many of the over 100 types of chemical RNA modifications identified in organism of all kingdoms of life are are functionally indispensable for protein synthesis because they regulate translational speed and accuracy. Accordingly, loss-of-function mutations in enzymes responsible for the formation of RNA modifications can cause severe human diseases including neuro-developmental disorders, mitochondrial diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Here, I will focus on the formation of 5-methylcytidine in RNA and show how loss of RNA methylation mechanistically affects protein translation and thereby regulates the cellular response to environmental stress stimuli. This is important because these newly discovered biological roles of RNA methylation directly influence cell fate decision in normal tissue development and tumour formation.

  • Max Perutz Lecture- Antisense transcription and epigenetic switching

    Speaker: Caroline Dean, John Innes Centre, Norwich
    Host: Mariann Bienz
    Date: 27/04/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Clare Hall King Lecture- Title to follow

    Speaker: Marc Kirschner, Harvard Medical School
    Host: Lori Passmore
    Date: 04/05/2017 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, National Institute of Health, Maryland, USA
    Host: Ben Nichols and Bill Schafer
    Date: 08/05/2017 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Dan Durocher, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine
    Host: Lori Passmore
    Date: 15/05/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Annual AWiSE-Lmb Lunchtime careers meeting

    Speaker: Various
    Host: Cambridge AWiSE-LMB
    Date: 30/06/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

    Further information

    More info to follow including registration

  • LMB Seinar Series- Title to follow

    Speaker: Chris Lima
    Host: David Komander
    Date: 14/07/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • LMB Seminar Series-Title to follow

    Speaker: Patrick Cramer, Max Planck Institute
    Host: Phil Holliger
    Date: 05/09/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Crick Lecture-title to follow

    Speaker: Jack Szostack, Harvard, USA
    Host: Phil Holliger
    Date: 07/09/2017 at 4:00pm in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.

  • Max Perutz Lecture

    Speaker: Erin O Shea, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    Host: Liz Miller
    Date: 15/11/2017 at 11:00am in the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre, LMB.