|Event Name||IYCr2014 Melbourne public lecture series|
|Start Date||10th Apr 2014 6:00pm|
In the framework of the celebrations for the UN International Year of Crystallography at the University of Melbourne, Professor Peter Colman will present a public lecture at the Bio21 Institute in Melbourne, Parkville, Australia on the topic 'Crystals and X-Rays - how we see molecules and discover new medicines'.
Abstract: In the century since X-ray scattering by crystals was first observed, crystallographers have described the atomic structure of diverse materials such as diamond, DNA and proteins. Structure determines function and these structures explain diamond’s hardness, DNA’s role in hereditary, and how influenza viruses escape from one cell to infect another. Contemporary drug discovery depends on the crystallographer’s photographs of protein molecules (magnified some 100 million times) to fashion drugs capable of selectively hitting the right target. Over the past twenty-five years crystallography has guided the discovery of new medicines for influenza, HIV and a number of specific cancers, and there is promise of much more to come.
Peter Colman studied physics at the University of Adelaide before embarking on a career in structural biology. Whilst at CSIRO in Melbourne his laboratory determined the crystal structure of the influenza virus protein neuraminidase, leading him to the discovery of a new class drugs for influenza. Relenza™ is among the earliest examples of drugs arising from X-ray crystallography. The drug class, known as neuraminidase inhibitors, are front-line agents in international preparedness for influenza pandemics. Crystallography is now a routine tool in drug discovery. Colman, now at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, currently investigates new therapies for cancer that activate the cell suicide machinery.