On 17 April The PoPPI team took part in The Astbury Conversation Public Engagement Event with an interactive game titled ‘Protein-Matchmaking: How do proteins talk to one another, what happens when they miscommunicate and how do we deal with this through drug discovery?’
In a race against the clock, players ‘matched’ 3-D printed models of proteins to one another. If matched correctly, the proteins clicked together. The team also designed models of small-molecule inhibitors which fitted into pockets in the proteins, preventing them from fitting together.
This simple game allowed the team to demonstrate the complex principles of protein-protein interactions, and challenges for selective inhibition as pursued in the PoPPI programme in an effective way that could be understood by non-experts.
The Astbury Centre welcomed over 350 guests from all over the world to The Conversation which included fantastic talks including plenary speaker Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Kobilka.