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Prof Józef Lewandowski



My research focuses on the development of solid-state NMR methodology and applications of the solution and solid-state NMR to study relationships between structure, dynamics, and activity of biomolecular systems. I am particularly interested in atomic resolution characterization of solid and solid-liquid interface biological systems including, but not limited to, protein complexes, amyloid fibrils, and membrane proteins. Because the line widths in the NMR spectra in the solid-state do not depend on the size of the molecule as they do in solution, solid-state NMR offers unique opportunities to study structure and dynamics of proteins as a part of even very large assemblies. Importantly, solid-state NMR methodology can be applied to soluble and crystallisable systems but also to systems that are not soluble or that cannot be crystallised.

Membrane proteins perform crucial functions such as signaling and transport of materials across the membrane. Amyloid fibrils, a primer in self-assembling systems, are probably best known for their implication in debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. However, they are also involved in normal physiological processes such as biosynthesis of melanin.

Understandably, both membrane proteins and amyloid fibrils captivate not only for their intriguing biophysics but also for their medical relevance, e.g. over 50% of all drug targets act on membrane-bound receptors. However, they often lack long-range crystallinity and are insoluble and therefore, not easily amenable to detailed structural characterization by the traditional biophysical methods such as single-crystal x-ray crystallography and solution NMR. At the same, often even in the absence of long-range order, they exhibit sufficient local order to allow for a detailed atomic resolution description of both structure and dynamics by solid-state NMR.

Recently, a large fraction of the efforts in my laboratory concentrates on applications to proteins implicated in natural products biosynthesis, in particular trans-AT polyketide synthases (PKS) and polyketide synthase/non-ribosomal peptide synthase (PKS/NRPS) hybrids.

Groups at Warwick


Affiliations


Biography

  • 1995-1997 IB, Nordic United World College, Flekke, Norway
  • 1997-1998 MISMaP, Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland
  • 1999-2003 BSc in Chemistry and Theater & Dance, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA
  • 2002-2008 PhD (supervisor Prof. R. G. Griffin), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2008-2011 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (supervisor Prof. L. Emsley), ENS de Lyon/Centre de RMN à Très Haut Champs, Lyon, France
  • 2011-2015 Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick
  • 2015-2019 Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick
  • 2019-present Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick