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The University of Guelph NMR Centre's equipment supports the research efforts of faculty at Guelph in areas of BIOphysics, Chemistry and Biology. Some of the current projects are described below. If you are intersted in the work being done, the Ladizhansky group would like to hear from you! Prospective students can find out more information by reading the information at the bottom of the page.

Dr. Ladizhansky

Solid state magic angle spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance has recently emerged as one of the key tools for atomic-level characterization of molecular structure of membrane and amyloidogenic peptides and proteins in their native-like environments. Our research focuses on the development of multi-dimensional solid-state magic angle spinning NMR techniques for structural and dynamic studies of biological macromolecules, and on application of these methods to various problems in structural biophysics. For more detailed description of our ongoing research projects visit: The Dr. Ladizhansky Group

Joint Collaboration between Dr. Ladizhansky and Dr. Harauz

The myelin sheath is the membrane that spirals around nerve axons, insulating them and enabling them to transmit nerve impulses rapidly. One of the major neurological diseases prevalent in Canada is multiple sclerosis, in which the sheath degenerates, usually over a long period of time. A protein called "myelin basic protein" (MBP) has been called the "executive molecule" of the myelin sheath. It holds together the myelin sheath by virtue of strong interactions with lipid membranes, and by attaching the underlying cytoskeleton (consisting of actin and tubulin) to the membrane. MBP also interacts with a variety of other proteins such as calmodulin and SH3-domain containing proteins, and thus functions also in signalling pathways.

The groups of Drs. Vladimir Ladizhansky (Physics) and George Harauz (Molecular and Cellular Biology) are using high-resolution solution and solid-state NMR to study this protein's dynamic conformational behaviour and interactions with other biological macromolecules. Using solution NMR and relaxation studies, we have defined segments of the protein that form transient regions of ordered secondary structure, and thus may represent targets for binding signalling proteins. We are devising new solid-state NMR approaches to determine this protein's structure when associated with the membrane, approaches that can be applied to other peripheral membrane-associated proteins. Using NMR, we hope to understand better how this protein holds myelin together, how it functions dynamically to maintain the membrane to the cytoskeleton, and remodel or regenerate myelin, and what goes wrong in multiple sclerosis. For more information visit our web pages: The Dr. Harauz Group and The Dr. Ladizhansky Group

Prospective Students

Graduate student positions, the University of Guelph We are seeking MSc and PhD students to work in the protein NMR group at the University of Guelph. Our group is interested in the development of solid-state NMR methods for the characterization of membrane protein structure, dynamics and interactions. The research will be conducted at the University of Guelph NMR Centre, which is equipped with an array of solid-state NMR spectrometers operating at field strengths from 500 MHz to 800 MHz, and with a 600 MHz/395 GHz Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) NMR spectrometer. The specific projects will deal with studying protein-protein interactions and dynamics at the membrane-solvent interface, and with the development of DNP methodologies. The candidates must have a degree in chemistry, physics or biochemistry. Applications to both the Department of Physics (http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca ) or Biophysics Interdepartmental Group (https://www.uoguelph.ca/biophysics/welcome-biophysics ) are accepted. For more information contact Vlad Ladizhansky, vladizha@uoguelph.ca




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