PhD ceremony: Ms. M. Palomo Reixach, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Title: Structure/function relationships of glycogen branching enzymes
Promotor(s): prof. L. Dijkhuizen, prof. M.J.E.C. van der Maarel
Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
The new findings described in the thesis of Marta Palomo (which led to a patent application) are particularly valuable for understanding how glycogen is made and are important for developing new types of branched
Glycogen is the major carbon and energy reserve polymer in cells of many animals and microorganisms. Lately glycogen has also been linked to several physiological processes such as cell differentiation, environmental survival, biofilm formation and virulence. One of the key enzymes involved in glycogen biosynthesis is glycogen branching enzyme (GBE) which catalyzes the formation of the
-1,6 branching points. The degree of branching and the length of the side-chains determine the physicochemical properties of the polysaccharides made. GBEs therefore hold great potential for new applications in the starch-related industry, with claims for GBE modified starch products in different areas, from bakery to paper coating.
Most GBEs belong to Glycoside Hydrolase family 13 (GH13) but recently they were also found in Glycoside Hydrolase family 57 (GH57). Palomo describes in her thesis the biochemical and structural analysis of GBEs from the GH13 and GH57 families. The functions of the different protein domains have been elucidated for both families of GBEs, and the identity of amino acid residues important for enzyme activity has been determined. Moreover, the first 3D structure of a GH57 GBE protein has been elucidated in collaboration with other researchers of the department Biophysical Chemistry.
NWA Idea Generator project for Kottapalli to develop low-cost sensorized shoes for patients to monitor gait and avoid fall conditions through a biofeedback voice alert.
Lung doctor Sander de Hosson has been elected Alumnus of the Year 2019 by the University of Groningen. He is receiving the award for the incisive way in which he calls for attention for the emotional side of palliative care and for making death a...
The 2020 Gratama Science Award has been awarded to Dr Ymkje Anna de Vries of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen. De Vries followed degree programmes in the fields of neuroscience, clinical science and...