Oberlin College and Conservatory

Chemistry & Biochemistry Seminar Series: William DeGrado

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 4:45pm

Norman C. Craig Lecture Hall, Science Center
119 Woodland Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosts guest speaker William DeGrado, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of California at San Francisco, whose topic will be "Structure, mechanism and inhibition of the M2 proton channel from influenza A virus."

The seminar will be preceded by a reception at 4:30 p.m., in the Anderson Lounge (behind Craig Lecture Hall).

Sponsored by the Ralph F. Hirschmann Lectureship Fund.


The M2 proton channel from influenza A virus is an essential component of the viral envelope, which is required for acidification of the inside of the virus once engulfed by the endosome. M2 is also the target of the anti-influenza drugs amantadine and rimantadine, but drug-resistance has become a major problem in recent years.

To investigate the mechanism by which protons are transported along water wires through the channel we have determined crystal structures at room temperature and very high resolution X-ray free electron laser crystallography.  

The structures provide insight into the mechanism by which protons diffuse through clusters of water molecules to histidine residues deep within the pore. We next used this structural insight to design new drugs that inhibit the most problematic drug-resistant mutant forms of the channel. 

Event Type



Academic, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chemistry


Free and open to the public

Contact Person

Rachel Wysocki

Contact Phone Number

(440) 775-8300

Contact E-mail Address


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