Bringing Structure to Biology
PDB Art Exhibition 2021 Opening Event
About this Event
PDBe, The Art Society CANTAB and The Art Society GRANTA are working with local school art departments to create artworks inspired by the molecules of life.
PDBe maintains a free, worldwide database containing over 180,000 3D shapes of biological molecules important for scientific and medical research. The molecules are too small to see even with a normal microscope, and yet can form incredibly complex structures.
In this project, PDBe scientists help students explore the PDB database and different methods of depicting these molecules. The students, with support of their teachers, then use these structures as inspiration for the creation of artworks, many of which will be on display at the exhibition.
17:00 – Welcome
17:10 – Introductory tour of virtual PDB art exhibition
17:20 – Jane Shelby Richardson, Professor of Biochemistry, Duke University, USA
17:30 – Shamita Sharmacharja, Curator, Wellcome Trust, UK
17:40 – Perspectives on the project from Viewbank College, Melbourne, AUS
17:45 – Q&A
18:00 – Meeting close
Shamita Sharmacharja is a curator at Wellcome Collection, a museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Shamita works on the temporary exhibitions programme and has curated shows on subjects as diverse as Play, Forensic Medicine and graphic design. Previous to her role at Wellcome Collection, Shamita worked at the Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Modern.
Jane Shelby Richardson
Jane Richardson and her husband David have worked together at Duke for over 50 years on research to understand the 3D structure of protein molecules, including their description, determinants, folding, evolution, and control. They were among the earliest groups doing protein crystallography, helped to start the field of protein de novo design, and developed the molecular graphics system of "kinemages". They developed a new method that calculates hydrogen-atom contacts to visualize and quantify the details of packing interactions inside and between molecules, with application to structural bioinformatics, validation, and improving accuracy of experimental structures of protein and RNA molecules by crystallography, NMR, or cryoEM. They run the heavily-used MolProbity validation web service and are one development team of the Phenix software system for structural biology.
Prof. Richardson pioneered ribbon drawings for representing protein structures, first described many of the common features of overall protein folds and their local motifs (such as Greek key beta barrels, righthanded crossovers, helix caps, cis Pro touch-turns, etc) and has worked to spread molecular 3D literacy to students and colleagues at Duke and around the world. From a Swarthmore B.A. in philosophy she has become a biophysicist, a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academies of Sciences and of Medicine, and a James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry at Duke. She has a Wikipedia page and three honorary degrees to fill in for her lack of a PhD.