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Department of Biochemistry


Membrane protein structure, function and cellular activities

Group Members: Sylvia Kocialkowski, Fanglu Huang, Teresa Sprenger


Contact Details:

Dr. Simone Weyand, Sir Henry Dale Fellow Department of Biochemistry
University of Cambridge
80 Tennis Court Road
Cambridge CB2 1GA

Tel: +44 (0)1223 333639

Darwin College Fellow  



- Wellcome Trust and Royal Society

- Isaac Newton Trust Cambridge

                   The Weyand lab welcomes applications for postdoc positions!

I joined the Department in October 2013 and research in my group will be focusing on obtaining insights into the molecular mechanisms and cell biology of sensory neurobiology. My focus is currently on the visual, olfactory and gustatory (both sweet and bitter receptors) systems both in health and disease. We currently work on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of phototransduction both the activation and deactivation pathways, the molecular mechanisms and coding of olfaction and taste. We aim at determining the high resolution structures of membrane protein complexes involved in these mechanisms and primarily want to visualise them in teh active states with ligands bound. We use complementary molecular, cell biological and biophysical techniques. Structural studies are performed using X-ray crystallography and cryoEM. A combined approach of functional studies using mutational analysis and cell biological assays complements our structural work. The combination of the structural studies with functional assays will reveal the underlying molecular mechanisms and show the nature of transport/signalling of the respective ligands. Further studies will show medically and biologically important protein substrate complexes as well as interactions with potential inhibitors. Answering the most fundamental biological questions of protein-substrate interactions in humans will enable an understanding at the atomic level.

Key publications

1 Weyand, S.*, Shimamura, T.*, Yajima, S.*, Suzuki, S.*, Mirza, O.*, Krusong, K., Carpenter, E. P., Rutherford, N. G., Hadden, J. M., O’Reilly, J., Ma, P., Saidijam, M., Patching, S. G., Hope, R. J., Norbertczak, H. T., Roach, P. C. J., Iwata, S., Henderson, P. J. F. and Cameron, A. D. (2008) Structure and molecular mechanism of a nucleobase-cation-symport-1 family transporter. Science. 322(5902):709-13.


2 Shimamura,*, T., Weyand, S.*, Beckstein, O.*, Rutherford, N.G., Hadden, J.M., Sharples, D., Sansom, M.S.P, Iwata, S., Henderson, P.J.F. and Cameron, A.D. (2010): Molecular Basis of Alternating Access Membrane Transport by the Sodium-Hydantoin Transporter Mhp1, Science, 328(5977):470. (Faculty of 1000).

3 Weyand, S. and Iwata, S. (2010): Old Gate Gets a New Look, Science, 329(5988):151 – 152. (Invited Article)

4 Shimamura, T., Shiroishi, M., Weyand, S., Tsujimoto, H., Winter, G., Katritch, V., Abagyan, R., Cherezov, V., Liu, W., Han, G.W., Kobayashi, T., Stevens, R.C. and Iwata, S. (2011): Structure of the human histamine H1 receptor complex with doxepin. Nature. 475(7354):65-70.
5 Hino, T., Arakawa, T., Iwanari, H., Yurugi-Kobayashi, T., Ikeda-Suno, C., Nakada-Nakura, Y., Kusano-Arai, O., Weyand, S., Shimamura, T., Nomura, N., Cameron, A.D., Kobayashi, T., Hamakubo, T., Iwata, S. and Murata, T. (2012): Molecular basis of G-protein coupled receptor inactivation by an allosteric inverse-agonist antibody. Nature. 482(7384)237-40.