Short Report by Johanna Möller: Structure determination of a Marburg virus mini-glycoprotein 1 domain with 3D solution NMR. (July – Oct. 2022)
My time in the US was full of new experiences both scientifically and culturally. It already started off with a bang when beginning of August I was able to join the Summer RosettaCon near Seattle. My first in-person contact with the Rosetta Commons did not only bring exciting new perspectives on protein design and structure prediction from the top researchers of the field, but also invaluable first hand input on my projects during the poster sessions.
Fast forward and halfway through this vast country I started my own research in Nashville. With Vanderbilt University hosting an excellent biomolecular NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) facility, I planned to express and purify a Marburg Virus (MARV) mini glycoprotein-1 domain, introducing N15 and C13 labeling for structure determination through solution 3D NMR. This structure can then be used in the development of a potential vaccine against the MARV. Although still in the middle of this project and with 3D NMR being a method I never used before, I already learned so much from my colleagues and am incredibly grateful for the expertise they share with me.
But experienced colleagues and state-of-the-art NMR facilities are not the only things Music City has to offer, so I dove head first into the tumble of live music, open air theatre and bachelorette parties at Broadway that is Nashville. With the company of my colleagues I had the feeling I was not only visiting as a tourist, but as an aspiring local. On my trips to Washington DC and NYC, DragonCon in Atlanta, to the mystical Smoky Mountains and at Lab retreat in Florida I caught a glimpse of the melting pot that beautifully is the United States. I will forever cherish the diversity, pride and kindness of the people I met on my travels and at work.