Grab your lab coat and let's go -- we're off to tour the lab of Brian Kobilka, MD, a Nobel laureate and Stanford professor of molecular and cellular physiology.
I mean tour quite literally. In this Nobel Lab 360° feature, produced by photographer Volker Steger and the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, we spin through the Kobilka lab. Through video and audio clips, we meet Kobilka and several lab members. And we get to see how his team uses crystallography to learn more about a widespread group of proteins known as G protein-coupled receptors.
Discoveries about these proteins won Kobilka and Robert Lefkowitz, MD, the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. G protein-coupled receptors translate chemical signals from outside a cell, such as a hormone like adrenaline, into a cascade of reactions within a cell.
Kobilka and lab members walk us through several key steps in the process of preparing proteins for x-ray examination, which takes place at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory or at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
But the personal insights are what makes the package really stand out. Click on an "i" symbol and a blowup of Kobilka's birthday card that is pinned to a lab fridge pops up.
And an audio clip offers assurance that Kobilka hasn't let scientific fame push him away from his roots as the son of hardworking Midwestern bakers.
"I clean up after myself," Kobilka says. "I'm pretty serious about starting with a clean bench and ending with a clean bench and I try to give an example to my students and postdocs."
If you’re hooked on the unconventional view into a lab, or just love learning more about Nobel-winning scientists, there's a whole series of 360° features to explore.
Image courtesy of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings