In 2014 we organized our first and in 2016 our second FEBS Advanced practical and laboratory course in ligand-binding theory and practice. The feedback from participants, speakers and tutors was very positive and as organizers we were very happy with the outcome and thus decided to offer a similar course again in 2018. This year the course starts on 24th July 2018 at the Center for Nanobiology and Structural Biology in Nové Hrady.

This course will provide basic training in the principles of ligand-binding theory, and will offer students a chance to analyse their own macromolecular interaction systems using the contemporary advanced methods of surface plasmon resonance SPR, isothermal titration calorimetry ITC, fluorescence spectroscopy, and microscale thermophoresis, guided by lecturers and tutors who are experts in the design, execution, and analysis of these experiments. Students will also gain exposure to contemporary experimental ligand-binding methods that are not represented among the practicals, including NMR, mass spectrometry, analytical ultracentrifugation AUC, electrophoretic mobility-shift, biolayer interferometry, and quartz crystal microbalance, through presentations by lecturers who are expert in each method. Besides ligand binding per se, a second unifying theme of the lectures will be allostery, also known as cooperativity. Nobelist Jacques Monod is said to have regarded allostery as life’s second secret, and study of allosteric mechanisms is widely regarded as the most important contemporary application of ligand-binding studies. Among the lecturers will be experts who will discuss our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of allostery.

The course is aimed for practitioners of ligand binding at the graduate or early postdoctoral level, although our experience indicates that even more advanced practitioners, such as the speakers and tutors themselves, will also increase their competency, enabling them to disseminate an accurate understanding of this critical topic. Basic training in the fundaments of ligand-binding theory will be provided to enable all students to acquire the principles used in their experiments. This training is fully general and will therefore equip students with the skills to critically evaluate published binding data in any molecular system. These lectures, group discussions, and problem-solving exercises will be offered in seminars directed by Prof. Carey, and computational analysis, simulation, and data-fitting will be offered in a workshop directed by Prof. Wei-Feng Xue, concluding with a workshop on global analysis of each student’s ligand-binding results.

Further details can found at