Amélie wins Poster Prize at the Zinc-UK/ZincNet conference in Belfast

Amélie receiving her prize from Prof Wolfgang Maret.

Amélie receiving her prize from Prof Wolfgang Maret.

Congratulations to Amélie Sobczak from the Stewart lab who won a £200 poster prize at the Zinc-UK/ZincNet conference, which took place at the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast this week. (21st-22nd Nov). Amélie, a BHF-funded PhD student, presented a poster entitled “Regulation of coagulation by zinc: characterisation of zinc-dependent heparin neutralisation by fibrinogen and histidine-rich-glycoprotein”. Dr Siavash Khazaipoul also presented a poster at the meeting, his focussed on how “Free Fatty Acids Alter Plasma Zinc Speciation via an Allosteric Switch on Serum Albumin: Implications for Zinc Bioavailability”. The conference was the first joint meeting of the UK and European zinc biology networks. The Stewart lab would like to thank the organisers, particularly Dr Imre Lengyel for making this meeting a huge success.

The British Heart Foundation Visit the Metal Ions in Medicine Group

Representatives from the British Heart Foundation were in St Andrews on the 11th November to find out more about the research that they fund and to see first-hand the world-class research facilities that exist within the School of Medicine and BSRC. Dr Alan Stewart and Dr Sam Pitt as well as other researchers from the Metal Ions in Medicine Group (Dr Siavash Khazaipoul, Amelie Sobczak and Gavin Robertson) presented updates on their work. In addition, Prof David Harrison (Director of Research for the School of Medicine) and Prof Jim Naismith (Director of the BSRC) provided the charity with an overview of the cutting edge biomedical research being carried out within the University.


Visitors from BHF on the roof of the BSRC Annexe. From left to right: Jim Naismith (Director, BSRC), Richard Forsyth (Health Services Engagement Lead, BHF); Sarah Miller (Fundraising Manager, BHF); Sam Pitt; Alan Stewart; Kylie Barclay (Policy & Public Affairs Assistant, BHF); Pauline Davie (Retail Area Manager, BHF); David McColgan (Policy & Public Affairs Manager, BHF); Marjory Wood (Communications & Engagement Manager, BHF).

Representatives from BHF visit the Stewart and Pitt labs.

Representatives from BHF visit the Stewart and Pitt labs.

Collaborative work highlighted in University of Virginia Press Release


An artist’s interpretation of zinc being transported in the bloodstream. Image courtesy of Prof. Wladek Minor.

The University of Virginia has today issued a press release entitled “Here’s How Your Body Transports Zinc to Protect Your Health“. This relates to the Stewart lab’s collaborative work with Prof. Wladek Minor (University of Virginia), Dr Maksymilian Chruszcz (University of South Carolina) and Dr Claudia Blindauer (University of Warwick), whereby the first X-ray crystal structures of human and equine serum albumins bound to zinc are presented. Serum albumin is the major carrier of zinc in the blood and is required for the effective systemic distribution of this essential nutrient.The new findings are published in the open-access journal, Chemical Science. Full text of the article is available here.