Graduating in Biology in 2009 I started blogging about scientific topics the same year.
In 2010, I started working on my PhD thesis. I'm currently investigating a protein that is the cause for the inherited autoimmune disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. This protein, called HLA-B2705, has a sibling (HLA-B2709) which protects the carrier from getting the disease and which differs in only one amino acid out of almost 300. Researchers who compared the 3D structures of the two couldn't find any remarkable structural differences, but other studies imply that overall dynamics seems to differ. These studies either couldn't blame a specific protein region or worked with simulations, but with NMR spectroscopy we can provide dynamic data that go down to single atoms. We hope that the differences we find with NMR spin relaxation analysis can explain how the protein eventually causes Ankylosing Spondylitis and if there is any chance to find a cure.