Great news for Svenja Vinke from the University of Bielefeld who has won the prestigious short-term fellowship awarded by the Europon Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). She is joining the Virus-X team seeking out novel enzymes for the bioeconomy. The new enzymes are isolated from bacteriophages surviving the most inhospitable places on the planet including vulcanic hot springs in Iceland and deep-see vents in the Arctic ocean. Svenja will spent three months in the Pohl group of the Chemistry Department at Durham University to work on the characterisation and structure determination of selected target proteins.
Here, we see Svenja in the crystallisation room searching through hundreds of trays with thousands of crystallisation trials with the first promising crystallites already showing up (picture on the right-hand side). Crystals will soon be shipped to the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire for diffraction experiments. Once a diffraction data set is collected Svenja will be able to determine the molecular structure of her target in exquisite detail.