In Brief: Nobel Prize winner discusses research on IIB tour

JohnWalker-3wProfessor Sir John E Walker (left) discusses genomics with Professor Neil Hall (centre) and Professor Andrew Cossins

University of Liverpool Honorary Doctor of Science, Professor Sir John E Walker toured the Institute of Integrative Biology (IIB) before delivering a lecture to students and academics on the research that earned him a Nobel Prize.

Professor Walker visited the NMR Centre for Structural Biology, the Centre for Cell Imaging, the Proteomics Function Group and the Centre for Genomic Research, before finishing his tour in the Molecular Biophysics Group’s Barkla Laboratory. Discussions with IIB Research Fellows followed, ahead of his talk.

He delivered a lecture entitled ‘Generating the Fuel of Life’, describing in detail the fine structure of a key protein complex in cells, the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase, and how this molecular ‘turbine’ generates sufficient ATP to power life on Earth.

Head of the IIB, Professor Andrew Cossins, said: “Sir John is an inspirational figure to many young scientists and it was a privilege to hear his amazing presentation.”

Along with Professor Paul Boyer and Professor Jens Skou, Professor Walker was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1997 for his landmark studies on how ATP, the universal carrier of energy in living organisms, is made within cells.   Professor Walker was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University in 2004.

He is currently continuing his work into the cellular functions related to ATP synthesis at the Medical Research Council’s Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge.


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