Island in Banff

SMALP 2018:
Overcoming Bottlenecks in Membrane Biology

Conference Location: Max Bell Auditorium, Banff Conference Centre, Alberta.

Download the Program (PDF)

Date: Wednesday April 11, 2018 from 9am - 4:30pm (feel free to hike & ski before/after).

Get 25% off your registration by entering Promotion Code "earlybird" below until the end of February.

Or get 50% off your registration if you are going to the CSMB Membrane Proteins Conference that runs until April 15 using Promotion Code "CSMBattendee".

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Michael Overduin, Professor, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta is developing amphipathic polymers to solubilize and study native membrane protein complexes and will present Progress on SMALPing challenging proteins: the case of infectious prions.


Mansoore Esmaili, Ph.D. student in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, and obtained M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the University of Tehran, Iran. She is working on beta barrel and prion proteins.


Ayyalusamy (Rams) Ramamoorthy is the Robert W. Parry Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Biophysics at the University of Michigan. He investigates the ligand interactions, folding, aggregation and dynamic structures of membrane-associated proteins using methods including solid state NMR approaches and novel SMA derivatives, and will present Nanodiscs and Macro-Nanodiscs for Structural Studies by NMR.


Bert Klumperman is holder of the South African Research Chair on Advanced Macromolecular Architectures, which is awarded by the National Research Foundation Department of Science and Technology, at the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University. He investigates nano-structured materials for biomedical applications, conducts mechanistic and kinetic studies of radical polymerisation processes, and performs exploratory polymer chemistry for advanced applications


Barry Bruce Professor in Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology & Microbiology Departments University of Tennessee at Knoxville will present Non-detergent Isolation of a Cyanobacterial Photosystem I using Styrene-Maleic Acid Copolymers


Bob Gennis, University of Illinois, studies the structure and mechanisms of prokaryotic respiratory enzymes that generate a membrane potential, and will present Structure of the alternative complex III (ACIII) from Flavobacterium johnsoniae in SMA copolymer nanodiscs by cryoEM.


Eamonn Reading BBSRC Future Leader Fellow at King's College London, will present Structural mass spectrometry of membrane proteins within SMALP (native) nanodiscs

Russell Bishop, McMaster University, is focused on the biogenesis of bacterial cell envelopes, including biochemical studies of lipid transport, the bacterial outer membrane enzyme PagP, as well as enzymology and signal transduction of lipid A (endotoxin).

Sandro Keller, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Vice Dean, Faculty of Biology, University of Kaiserslautern on the solubilization of membrane proteins into functional lipid-bilayer nanodiscs by diisobutylene/maleic acid copolymer (DIBMA) and SMA and comparison of effects and biophysical properties.

Tim Dafforn, Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Birmingham and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, co-invented the SMALP system for research into membrane proteins by methods including SANS, SAXS and cEM, and will present SMALPs: polymers, lipids and proteins.


Adrian Kopf, PhD student in the group of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands is investigating the influence of copolymer composition and length on membrane solubilization to form SMALP (native) nanodiscs and will speak on Membrane solubilization by styrene–maleic acid copolymers: importance of polymer length and comonomer sequence.

Industry Panel and Speakers

Jana Broecker is a Senior Scientist - Protein Biochemist at Heptares, an industry pioneer in GPCR structure-based drug design. She previously postdoc'd at the University of Kaiserslautern and University of Toronto where she solved the first crystal structure of a SMA-solubilized membrane protein and developed crystal screening & data collection methods.

Stefan Scheidelaar is a Styrene Maleic Anhydride (SMA) Chemist at Polyscope Polymers, and was awarded his PhD from Utrecht University's Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter for his research into solubilization of lipids and membrane proteins into nanodiscs and the mode of action and applications of SMA copolymers.


Verna Frasca is the Field Applications Manager for Biosciences with Malvern Panalytical, and supports the use of MicroCal Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Differential Scanning Calorimetry for life sciences research, and drug discovery and development. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan, and has expertise in protein expression, purification and structural biology.

Brad Cooney specialises in imaging and chromatography at GE Healthcare, and provides training and troubleshooting in new methods. He will discuss approaches including size exclusion chromatography of protein complexes.


Edward Pryor from Anatrace spent his Ph.D. and post-doctoral research examining structure-function relationships of DNA-binding and membrane proteins including the integral membrane CAAX protease, Ste24p, and will discuss the use of detergents to solubilize and study membrane protein complexes.


Avanti Polar Lipids representatives will be on hand to discuss their latest products and services.


We invite nominations for additional speakers, especially students and postdocs.


Information on transportation and accommodation

Banff offers many recreational activities within the town and national park to enjoy before or after the conference. Take your skis, snowboard, hiking boot, and camera.

Accomodation: Either book a room in a Banff hotel or book through the Banff Centre when you register for the main conference here.

Transportation: There are Banff Airporters, express shuttles, and the Brewster Express from the airport, or rent a car. There is also a Greyhound bus that runs from downtown Calgary.

Shuttle reservations are required a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

Driving Directions from Calgary International Airport (YYC) to the Banff (about 1 hour 45 minutes):


Nanoparticle Technologies for Membrane Protein Research Meeting

Location: Leeds Beckett University, UK

Dates: June 27-28, 2017

Organizers: Tim Dafforn, Sarah Lee, Naomi Pollock, Vincent Postis

Speakers: Steve Sligar, Bonnie Wallace, Tim Dafforn, Sandro Keller, Tony Watts

South African SMALP Meeting 2017

Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Dates: April 10-13, 2017

Format: During the UNESCO/IUPAC Conference

Bert-KlupermanOrganized by Bert Klumperman, South African Research Chair in Advanced Macromolecular Architectures at the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University

Berkeley SMALP Conference 2017

Location: Berkeley, California, USA

Date: March 24, 2017

Organizers: Tomas Laursen, Jana Broecker and Michael Overduin

Program and Flyer


Toronto SMALP Conference 2016

Location: Hart House Music Room, University of Toronto

Date: Friday April 29, 2016

Timetable: SMA training workshop from 8:00am (free activated SMA provided) and a lively, interactive meeting from 9:00am - 5:00pm

See the Event Flyer, Attendee List and Programme

North American SMALP Conference in Toronto attendees. The red sweaters represent protein, others are lipids.
toronto smalp group 2016