SPiDR Early Career Researcher Meeting

On 10th June, The University of Leeds hosted a one-day, interdisciplinary meeting organized by the SPiDR project team on intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). 

The meeting was open to everyone and brought together over forty researchers across disciplines to discuss the biological role of IDRs in health and disease and the physiochemical properties that make them integral to these processes. 

The programme included keynotes from Professor Peter Tompa (VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology), Dr Sarah Shammas (University of Oxford), and Dr Markus Schade (AstraZeneca).  

Jack talks at Pint of Science

SPiDR’s Jack Roberts gave a talk at Pint of Science on 13 May on the role of protein disorder in health and disease.

The theme of the evening was ‘From Bench to Bedside’.

Pint of Science is an annual worldwide science festival which brings researchers to local social spaces to share their scientific discoveries with the public.


Over the summer holidays, Jennifer Miles, Matt Batchelor and Isha Mohan hosted two sixth form students on the In2Science scheme in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The students were introduced to numerous techniques that are used daily on the SPIDR project and given hands on experience in protein crystallisation.

Jennifer Miles presents at Soapbox Science

On a beautifully sunny day in June, Jennifer Miles got on her soapbox to present her research to members of the general public in York with a talk, ‘Seeing Small: Studying the ‘toolkit’ inside our bodies’.

Jennifer’s aim was to present some of the techniques we use on the SPIDR project and why we do them, and to promote structural biology and women in STEM.

Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women and non-binary scientists and the science they do.

LuckyIDP at BeCurious

On 7th May The Bayliss group together with additional participants in SPIDR were involved BeCurious 2022; the University’s annual research open event, which aims to showcase how research at Leeds is making a world of difference to people’s lives.

The Lucky IDP stand illustrated how proteins are made of long strings of amino acids and that ordered Proteins fold into 3-dimensional shapes to do their jobs inside cells whilst Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (IDPs) use their floppy unfolded strings like “molecular velcro” to recruit partner proteins to do jobs. Visitors could “fish” in our cell pond with their Lucky IDP to catch a partner protein.

Notre Dame Schools visit

Andy Wilson visited Notre Dame 6th form College in Leeds to give a talk to their lower sixth students about his career.

During his visit, Andy outlined the drug discovery process and explained the important role that chemists play in this process. Andy highlighted the particular challenges associated with discovering new medicines for targets such as protein-protein interactions (PPIs), which typically involve intrinsically disordered domains. Addressing such challenges could translate into potential treatments for major societal diseases. Andy used the PoPPI protein matchmaking game to highlight the complexity of protein-protein interactions.

Head of Department for Chemistry and Physics Rachel Hodgetts said, “Our students really enjoyed learning about the interactions involved in certain drugs and could relate it to their study of intermolecular forces.”


Rob Dawber talks at BACR & RSC CBBG meeting

Rob Dawber gave the talk ‘Investigating key protein-protein interactions of the Aurora-A Kinase’ at the BACR & RSC CBBG meeting on 2 December 2021. This virtual meeting was a joint event between the RSC Chemical Biology and Bioorganic Chemistry (CBBG) group and the British Association for Cancer Research (BACR). The aim of the meeting was to bring together two communities with a mutual interest in advancing knowledge in chemical biology as applied to cancer research.

Rob is a final-year PhD student supervised by Andy Wilson and Richard Bayliss.

Webinar 4 June 2021: Deciphering the function of intrinsically disordered protein regions: new horizons

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to attend “Deciphering the function of intrinsically disordered protein regions: new horizons’ – an interactive, online webinar that will take place (via Zoom) on Friday 4th June, 14.00-17.00 GMT. A series of short pre-recorded talks will be available from Thursday 3rd June for registered attendees to view before the meeting.

More information and register here