Pilot Projects

Approved Projects

Proof of concept study to understand intrinsically disordered proteins by combining scattering and imaging techniques at EuXFEL

This project focuses on experiments that will serve as a basis for understanding a family of proteins that are of utmost importance for human health. Recently, it has been shown that ~30% of all proteins in eukaryotic organisms* belong to intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and that these are involved in many central biological processes and diseases.

The collaboration in this pilot project, between Lund University in Sweden and the European XFEL facility in Hamburg, Germany, is new and will enable the researchers to widen their horizons beyond their specialties since it will combine SAXS, FEL-SAS/SPI**, and atomistic computer simulations across the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak-Hamburg Region. With involvement by a postdoc and a PhD student the project will also contribute to educating the next generation of researchers.

The aim of the pilot project is to investigate the possibilities of using FEL-SAS and SPI EuXFEL to study IDPs with the Histatin 5 saliva protein as a model. The research group foresee that the use of FEL-SAS/SPI to analyze IDPs and its conformational ensemble can serve as a proof-of-concept study. The results are expected to constitute a significant step towards deciphering the structure-function relationship of IDPs, which is vital for developing the next generations of pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, i.e., antimicrobial peptides. The latter aligns with the European Union’s sustainability goal for Agenda 2030.

For further information about this HALRIC pilot project, please contact:

Marie Skepö
Lund University

*The definition of eukaryote organism is one that possesses a clearly defined nucleus (www.britannica.com)
** SAXS (Small Angle X-ray Scattering) // FEL-SAS (Free Electron Laser – Small-Angle Scattering) // SPI (Single-Particle Imaging)

Starting date:
01 Nov, 2023

Research infrastructures:

  • European XFEL
  • MAV IV

HALRIC partners:

  • Lund University

Project participants:

  • Adam Round (EuXFEL)
  • Ann Terry (MAXIV)
  • Henrik Vinther Sörensen (LU)
  • Marie Skepö (LU)